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Asperger's Syndrome

Asperger syndrome , also known as Asperger disorder or simply Asperger's, is an autism spectrum disorder that is characterized by significant difficulties in social interaction and non-verbal communication, alongside restricted and repetitive patterns of behaviour and interests. It differs from other autism spectrum disorders by its relative preservation of linguistic and cognitive development. The syndrome is named after the Austrian paediatrician Hans Asperger who, in 1944, studied and described children in his practice who lacked non-verbal communication skills, failed to identify their peers' emotions, and were physically clumsy.

The exact cause is unknown. Although research suggests the likelihood of a genetic basis, there is no known genetic cause and brain imaging techniques have not identified a clear common pathology. There is no single treatment, and the effectiveness of particular interventions is supported by only limited data. Intervention is aimed at improving symptoms and function. The mainstay of management is behavioural therapy, focusing on specific deficits to address poor communication skills, obsessive or repetitive routines, and physical clumsiness. Most children improve as they mature to adulthood, but social and communication difficulties may persist. Some researchers and people with Asperger's have advocated a shift in attitudes toward the view that it is a difference, rather than a disability that must be treated or cured.

Its characterized by:

  • Poor social reciprocal interaction.
  • Restricted and stereotypic repertoire of interest and activities.
  • Normal general intelligence.
  • Onset between 7 and 24 months.
  • Social play and development affected in the first 3 years.
  • Loss / Partial loss of development of language.
  • Abnormal stereotypic or repetitive hand movements.
  • Predominantly in boys.