Asperger's syndrome, described for the first time by an Austrian doctor who gave it his name, is a disorder of brain development, characterized by severe alteration of interpersonal relationships and repetitive behavioral disturbances.
Individuals with Asperger Syndrome often focus, or have obsessions, on a single object or idea, ignoring everything else. They have problems establishing relationships with adults, or children of their age, because they are unable to respond emotionally to usual social situations.
They are inflexible about their routines, and express no sense of joy at the happiness of others. They do not isolate themselves from the world, as can happen in people with autism, and seek proximity to other individuals. But their use of language and their communication problems make them tend towards a certain isolation.
Children who suffer are intelligent and of normal appearance, without language delay. Their understanding of social situations is very ingenuous. They are proud, sincere and faithful, not to say that they carry in them a limitless kindness.
But they suffer from motor delays (difficulties in walking, delay in learning to ride a bike for example, or to catch a ball and play games). Their body language may be nil, and they may speak in a monotonous manner, or may not be able to modulate the volume of their voice depending on where they are.
They are often stigmatized as strange or weird. Boys are more affected than girls, in a proportion of 3 to 7 in 1,000 in a age group of 7 to 16 years.
The symptoms can be quite obvious in the first months of their existence, the motor delay then being seen from kindergarten, and the social interaction deficit appearing at the time of entry to primary school.
The disease continues its course throughout the life of the person who suffers. Specialists evaluate a basic group of behaviors to accurately diagnose the existence of this syndrome, which includes the following attitudes: not responding to the call of his name, abnormal eye contact, isolation, inability to perform certain actions, absence of interactive games and with children their age.
Psychologists and psychiatrists are the only ones who can properly assess the presence of the syndrome, and prescribe treatment, because Asperger syndrome and autism are often confused, both belonging to the category of generalized disorders of development. If they share certain similarities, they are two distinct disorders.
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