Asperger's Syndrome is a neurological condition characterized by delay in the motor skills development, extreme difficulty in social interactions, abnormal fixation with routines, portraying a marked tendency to perform repetitive tasks. Strange facial expressions, odd gestures and overriding clumsiness are characteristic of victims suffering this disorder.
Asperger's syndrome portrays a strong genetic link. Family history of any of the 'Pervasive Developmental Disorders' enhances the risks of this condition.
Dr Hans Asperger first described this condition in Vienna. He was intrigued by the abnormal behavior of four boys between the ages of 6 to 11. The boys demonstrated normal language development and cognitive skills despite the abnormal behavior.
Asperger's syndrome is more common in males than females. It may represent a milder form of autism and the child may possess normal intelligence, language development and cognitive skills.
Asperger's syndrome can coexist alongside other mental health conditions like Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Anxiety Disorder, Depression, and Learning Disability.
Diagnosis of the syndrome can be done by Mental Health Experts and Speech and Language Experts in children between the ages of five and nine. A few standard screening tools are also available to look for the red flags that characterize this condtion. The earlier the diagnosis is made the better it is likely for the child to cope with different situation and succeed in overcoming the emotional shortcomings.
One must remember that each child is unique and the treatment needs to be custom made for the child depending on the environment and temperament of the child. Encouragement and support can do wonders. Sometimes watching a movie or reading a book related to the subject can be inspiring, educative and may help in creating awareness about the condition. Examples of such movies include the following
► Rain Man (Dustin Hoffman) - based on a autistic character.
► Tare Zamin Par (2007 in Hindi) Based on a Dyslexic child.
► Mozart and the Whale" (2006) - This is a movie inspired by the lives of two people with Asperger's Syndrome.
Joining a 'Support Group' can be an enriching experience for both the child and the parents. Sharing, learning and caring can help the family and the child to come to terms with the condition and accept it; rather than fight it. You learn how to cope and avoid difficult situations.
"We each have our own way of living in the world, together we are like a symphony. Some are the melody, some are the rhythm, some are the harmony. It all blends together, we are like a symphony, and each part is crucial. We all contribute to the song of life."
By - Sondra Williams