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Facts about Asperger's Treatment

written by: Jennifer Fidalgo • edited by: Elizabeth Wistrom • updated: 3/31/2011

Asperger's treatment can include a number of approaches. Usually the specific types of therapies used on the child, depends on the social and emotional problems that the Asperger's child is experiencing. Treatment plans can be changed and modified based on the child's needs.

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    Asperger's and Effective Treatments

    Children with Asperger's syndrome have an average to above-average level of intelligence and language abilities, yet they still display characteristics which resemble autism. There is usually not one form of treatment that works best but rather a combination of different approaches.

    According to WebMD, "Treatment for the Asperger's Syndrome strives to improve children's abilities to interact with other people and thus help them to function effectively in society and be self-sufficient." Asperger's treatment involves working on areas where the child is having difficulty, such as communication skills, sensory processing skills and behaviors. Since children with Asperger's vary in the number of symptoms that they display, Asperger's treatment methods can be adjusted based on their individual needs.

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    Speech Therapy

    Speech therapy can be an effective form of treatment for children with Asperger's syndrome. This may be surprising to some people since these individuals do possess the ability to talk. However, children with Asperger's still have trouble interpreting the communication that they have with others. They may lack an understanding of gestures and the ability to relate to others. Speech therapies can include a number of different approaches to help children with Asperger's syndrome. For example, using grammar correctly, staying on topics while having a conversation, and interpreting or following directions that are given, following a daily schedule, coming up with things to say during a conversation, understanding what is read and increasing a limited vocabulary are all topics covered.

    Speech problems can cause children with Asperger's to have a number of social and emotional problems. Speech therapy can help these childrens learn effective tools so that they can communicate properly in their daily life. Actual speech therapies are planned according to the difficulties that the child is experiencing.

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    Occupational Therapies

    Children with Asperger's syndrome often have difficulty processing sensory information that they experience from external environments. For this reason, occupational therapy is often an effective approach to treating the disorder. According to West Virginia University, "The goal of occupational therapy is primarily focused on improving the individuals functioning at home, school, and in the community." Occupational therapy can address various difficulties that an Asperger's child possesses. An evaluation is given to determine what an therapists should direct his focus on. Treatment can include working on social interactions, daily living skills, self care, sensory processing difficulties, repetitive behaviors, behavior issues, coping skills, motor skills and the ability to imitate other people. These children may receive occupational therapy in their home, school or in a clinical environment.

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    Behavior Therapy

    Behavior therapy can also be an effective type of Asperger's treatment. It is important that children with Asperger's syndrome learn to behave so that they can function well in school and society. This type of therapy often includes a lot of reinforcement for the Asperger's child. For example, he can either be praised or receive a token toward a favorite item when he behaves appropriately. Usually the exact rewards and behaviors that need to be addressed are written in an child's Behavior Management Plan. This is developed by professional behaviorists upon an evaluation. A strict routine that the child needs to adhere to may also be used to get the Asperger's child to follow orders and patterns.

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    References

    "Asperger's Syndrome-Treatment Overview" http://www.webmd.com/brain/autism/tc/aspergers-syndrome-treatment-overview

    "Asperger's Syndrome- Facts and Treatment" http://www.disabled-world.com/health/neurology/aspergers-syndrome.php

    "Asperger Syndrome" http://www.hsc.wvu.edu/som/ot/Education/OT-Connect/Limitations-and-Impairments/Asperger-Syndrome/