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What is Asperger Syndrome?
Asperger Syndrome is characterized as a neurological disorder and it is generally linked to a family of conditions called autism spectrum disorders. This family of disabilities includes autism as well as several other disabilities that have similar behavioral traits and this is why the term autism spectrum is used. This uniformity makes is hard to diagnose Asperger Syndrome. Each disability generally has certain symptoms in common that vary in frequency and importance in each individual. Terms such as low-functioning and high functioning autism have been born from these common traits.
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Asperger Syndrome and Autism
Asperger Syndrome, just like autism, can be a very difficult disability to pinpoint and accurately diagnose. Asperger Syndrome, unlike autism, is often diagnosed around age 5. Some of the common symptoms include poor interaction or social skills, odd mannerisms or repeating behavior. Coordination problems or communication difficulties along with problems with motor skills and no or limited interests are a few other traits that are used to diagnose Asperger Syndrome. They can vary in severity or complexity from one individual to the next and no two cases may be alike.
People who are afflicted with Asperger Syndrome exhibit many of the same traits as those who suffer from autism and the syndrome is often referred to as a high functioning form of autism. However those individuals who are diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome do function better than those who suffer from autism on a day to day basis. For a clearer definition, Asperger Syndrome is a pervasive development disorder. These types of disorders are known to cause delays in developing the ability to socially interact and communicate with others.
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Mysterious Asperger Syndrome
It is very difficult to diagnose Aspergers Syndrome because many symptoms, to most people, would not be considered disabilities. Some small children do not make friends quickly, have behavioral problems and may be extra clumsy, so a doctor would not diagnose Asperger Syndrome without extensive tests. Many children who have Asperger Syndrome do not exhibit any visible learning disabilities. They often speak fairly well for the most part, have a great vocabulary and are talented at doing many different tasks. They have no problem leading a normal life. They do lack in some areas such as social skills but they are often very well versed in others. They may be obsessive compulsive about certain things such as a pencil or a seat and they may not like certain colors etc. but they are often still viewed as simply eccentric rather than having an actual and documented disability.
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Ways to Diagnose Asperger Syndrome
Since Asperger Syndrome can go undiagnosed there have been changes over the years implemented to allow for easier detection. If a child is suspected of suffering from Asperger Syndrome in order to properly diagnose them, they must undergo a complete evaluation by a medical professional. Many times the doctor will perform a complete physical examination including obtaining all their medical records.
Tests will also be done to make sure that another physical or genetic disorder such as autism is not causing the problem. Many doctors also test the Asperger Syndrome Diagnostic Scale. This was engineered exactly for that purpose and is a trusted indicator test. The child will also be introduced to child psychologists and other mental health personnel that are familiar with Asperger Syndrome. They will conduct a series of interviews and observations regarding the child’s development in order to make a better diagnose.