Monday, January 10, 2005

What is Asperger Syndrome?

Asperger Syndrome is a condition where a child or an adult seems to be awkward in social interactions, appears to be clumsy at times and often struggles with learning new concepts unless it concerns a topic of interest.

Until a few years ago, a person affected by Asperger Syndrome was considered odd, brilliant, absent minded and showing some difficulty with certain physical activities. Now, it is considered being on the upper scale of the Autism Spectrum.

A person affected by this condition may display impressive abilities, an excellent vocabulary and a lot of knowledge, especially in a favourite subject but there are challenges that are just around the corner and affect life every day. What seems so obvious or simple for some people can be quite challenging for someone who is affected by Asperger Syndrome. For example, body language, feelings and expressions appear to be difficult to analyze and understand, a bit like a foreign language. Such important informations contribute to the difficulty in building and even keeping a relationship. Often, this person seems to be a poor listener but a very good speaker. It is based not based on a lack on interest about others but mostly on the lack of social skills necessary to interact with people.

You may also recognize this condition by observing a few behaviours such as: a lack of empathy, understanding informations literally, rigidly following routines, observing a great level of distress when changes arise without warnings, repetitive movements, lack of eye contact and a difficulty to interact with others.

Despite the challenges of Asperger Syndrome, someone may very well have a career, a romantic relationship and a family. Services such as Occupational Therapy, counselling, Speech Therapy and even Physiotherapy have contributed to help someone affected by this condition to lead a happy and successful life.


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