written by: Debbie Roome
• edited by: Paul Arnold
• updated: 3/19/2011
Asperger’s syndrome is on the high functioning end of the autism spectrum and is generally milder than other forms of autism.
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Facts About Mild Asperger’s Syndrome in Children and Teenagers
People with Asperger’s syndrome have problems in a number of areas but the effects may be slight compared to someone with classic autism. Here are some interesting facts about mild Asperger’s and how it plays out in children’s and teenager’s lives:
Asperger’s syndrome is characterized by weaknesses in social skills, communication and repetitive behaviors, no matter what age the person is.
Children can be diagnosed in preschool years but in many cases the condition is only picked up when they start school. A teacher often recognizes the child's ability to socialize and interact is not normal and may suggest the parents have the child assessed.
Many people with Asperger’s syndrome suffer from sensory issues. These include experiencing problems with the textures of food. A child may develop restricted tastes and eat the same foods over and over. New flavors, lumpy foods and foods that are not an acceptable color are rejected.
Teenage years can be difficult for a number of reasons. One is the shift from having friends to play games with, to having confidantes and people they can share deeply with. A person with Asperger’s may find this overwhelming and when they respond inappropriately, they lose friends.
Children and teenagers with mild Asperger’s may become depressed as a result of their impaired social skills. Many desire to fit in and form friendships but are clumsy in their attempts to do so, leading to rejection and depression.
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Facts About Mild Asperger’s Syndrome in Adults
Mild Asperger’s is often misdiagnosed in adults and instead of their condition having a name, they are referred to as strange or eccentric. Many have developed coping mechanisms over the years and are able to function reasonably well in society. Here are some interesting facts about mild Asperger’s in adults:
Asperger’s adults are often inflexible in their thinking, believing that something is either right or wrong. In some cases, this inflexibility can lead to angry confrontations.
While many Asperger’s adults enjoy reading and writing, they commonly prefer factual work to fiction. Imagination skills are often impaired and they find it difficult to create stories and fictional situations.
Some adults with mild Asperger’s come across as bores. They often have a fanatical interest in a certain topic and will talk about it at length without realizing they are boring the other person. This is the result of their inability to read facial expressions and body language.
Mild Asperger’s definitely has an effect on a person’s life but with therapy, many are able to adapt and learn social and communication skills. While there is no cure for Asperger’s syndrome, children and adults with the condition can learn to function in society and lead happy, contented lives.
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The Complete Guide to Asperger’s Syndrome, Tony Attwood, Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2007