Asperger's syndrome is a developmental disorder that makes it very hard to interact with other people. Your child may find it hard to make friends because he or she has poor social skills.
Children with Asperger's syndrome have some traits of autism. For example, they may prefer routine and not like change. But unlike those who have autism, children with Asperger's syndrome usually start to talk before 2 years of age, when speech normally starts to develop.
Asperger's syndrome is a lifelong condition. But the symptoms tend to improve over time. Adults who have it can learn to understand their own strengths and weaknesses. And they can improve their social skills.
Both Asperger's syndrome and autism belong to the group of disorders called autism spectrum disorders (ASDs). You may hear this term used to describe Asperger's syndrome.
Asperger's syndrome is usually noticed when a child is age 3 or older. Symptoms vary, so no two children are the same. Here are some of the common symptoms you may notice. Children with Asperger's:
Treatment is based on your child's symptoms. Treatment may change often so that it's most useful for your child.
Doctors, teachers, and counsellors can help your child improve his or her behaviour and build social and learning skills. School programs and job training can help too.
Here are some ways you can help your child:
Many children with Asperger's syndrome also have other conditions, such as ADHD or obsessive-compulsive disorder. So they may need other treatments, such as medicine.
Follow-up care is a key part of your child's treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if your child is having problems. It's also a good idea to know your child's test results and keep a list of the medicines your child takes.
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Current as of: December 7, 2017
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
& Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine & Louis Pellegrino, MD - Developmental Pediatrics
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