What is Asperger’s Syndrome?
Asperger’s Syndrome is a high functioning autism spectrum disorder, increasingly well understood and managed with the correct diagnosis.
How common is Asperger’s Syndrome?
Some studies estimate that as many as 1 in 88 children have Asperger’s Syndrome . Many adults go undiagnosed, perhaps because they develop coping mechanisms to be able to function well in society.
A quick internet search reveals that many of the most well known, successful people in history are thought to have had Asperger’s – Mozart, Einstein, Jane Austen, Thomas Jefferson and Michaelangelo amongst many others.
Many people do not get a formal diagnosis, symptoms can often be mild and thought to be a ‘quirk’ of someone’s personality so it is hard to know exactly how many people have Asperger’s. This is not something you need to worry about as a diagnosis would help your child and enable you to equip them with better coping skills to improve their social interaction and communication development as early as possible.
How do I know if my child has Asperger’s Syndrome?
Children have unique behavioural patterns and differences in the way they regulate their emotions.
Every family wishes to give their child the best support they need so it is important to understand the symptoms your child is experiencing and encourage their development throughout childhood.
Children with Asperger’s Syndrome may share similar characteristics with each other, but each will experience the world in a slightly different way and therefore symptoms present in one child may not be in another. This can make it hard to know whether your child has Asperger’s and most children are not diagnosed with Asperger’s until they are 11 – perhaps because this is when some of the social difficulties are more visible or because parents have hoped that their child will ‘grow out’ of their behaviours.
The behaviours your child presents may be challenging but they make your child unique, if you are struggling you should not worry as you are not alone and there are always people who can help you and find the best way to support you as a family.
What is Asperger’s?
Hans Asperger, an Austrian paediatrician working around the time of World War II, pioneered early work in autism, publishing in 1944 his definition of ‘Asperger’s Syndrome’.
Working in such a difficult political climate, within the Nazi’s opinion towards disabilities, he was well known for his positive outlook for children given this diagnosis.
It was not until the 1980’s that his work was translated into English, resulting in the syndrome posthumously gaining his name and a furthering of the research into autism.
Asperger’s is often called a mild form of autism or high functioning autism and is characterised by:
- difficulties with social interactions
- average or above average intellect
- intense absorption in a special interest
- repetitive actions
- sensory sensitivity
If you are concerned that your child may have an autistic spectrum disorder you can speak to one of our qualified child and adolescent clinical advisors today about whether an assessment with a paediatric psychiatrist might be helpful.
Please call 020 3761 7026. Appointments are normally available within a few days, you do not need to have a GP referral.