What Is Asperger’s Syndrome?
Asperger’s Syndrome refers to a type of pervasive developmental disorder involving atypical characteristics within the development of many basic skills, most notably the ability to socialize with others, communicate, and use imagination.
Although Asperger’s syndrome is similar in some ways to autism, it is important to note that Asperger’s syndrome is not typically as severe as autism and there are some important differences.
Children with Asperger’s syndrome tend to function at higher levels, have normal intelligence, and near normal speech development when compared to children with autism, though many develop problems with communicating, both verbally and non-verbally, as they grow older.
What Are Signs Of Asperger’s Syndrome?
Like with all syndromes, symptoms of Asperger’s syndrome vary from individual to individual and can range from mild to severe. Common symptoms include:
- Problems with social skills: Children with Asperger’s syndrome generally have difficulty interacting with others and are often awkward in social situations. They generally do not make friends easily and have difficulty initiating and maintaining conversation.
- Eccentric or repetitive behaviors: Children with this condition may develop atypical, repetitive movements, such as hand wringing or finger twisting.
- Unusual preoccupations or rituals: A child with Asperger’s syndrome may develop rituals that he or she refuses to alter, such as getting dressed in a specific order.
- Communication difficulties: People with Asperger’s syndrome may lack the ability to make eye contact when speaking with someone. They may have trouble using facial expressions and gestures, and understanding body language. They may also have problems understanding language in context.
- Limited range of interests: A child with Asperger’s syndrome may develop an intense, almost obsessive, interest in a specific areas, such as sports schedules, weather, or maps.
- Coordination problems: The physical movements of children with Asperger’s syndrome may seem clumsy or awkward.
- Skilled or talented: Many children with Asperger’s syndrome are exceptionally talented or skilled in a particular area, such as music or math.
How Can Great Speech Help?
The social use of language, commonly referred to as Pragmatic Language Therapy, is the primary focus of speech therapy for individuals diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome. Learning the socially acceptable way of taking turns, coordinating facial expressions and eye contact during conversation and understanding physical space limitations are just some of the essential skills which can be introduced and reinforced by a Great Speech therapist.
Please contact us to discuss how a licensed speech and language pathologist can help.
“We were so lucky to find our Great Speech therapist who specialized in working with children diagnosed on the spectrum. She taught Erin socially-acceptable ways of making conversation and how to take turns. We have been playing games as a family to reinforce the skills she has been taught through online speech therapy and I think our whole family has benefitted from the experience.”