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what to know about Asperger syndrome

iStock_000011314635XSmallAspergers is a syndrome; it is a collection of behaviors which, taken together, comprise a specific profile. Unlike cancer or diabetes or any number of other illnesses, Aspergers cannot be diagnosed with a blood test or a brain scan, even though it is clearly a set of neurological issues. There are a variety of theories about how exactly the brains of people with Aspergers are different from the brains of neurotypical (or “normal”) people but there is no real answer to why some people exhibit these clusters of behaviors and others do not.

People with Aspergers tend to share certain characteristics: They have poor social skills and limited interests. They have higher-than-average IQs. They are rigid and inflexible. Some Aspies talk in a flat monotone; others flap their hands or hop up and down. Some hyper focus on one thing for their entire lives — air plane engines or maps or butterflies.

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2 comments on “what to know about Asperger syndrome

  1. Carol Venuto
    January 9, 2014

    Our son has had many difficulties in his life, first in school with of label of learning disability and unfortunately a lot of bullying both in school and in jobs. Luckily, he found fellow students and workers who watched his back and told us what was happening. He did graduate from college despite warnings that his IQ was too low. Many people who have met him and talked with him have told us he is a genius based on his vast knowledge of history, politics, religion, science fiction, etc. We are proud of him.

    Years kater he was finally diagnosed with being in the autism spectrum. The word, Aspergers is no longer used in diagnosis by professionals, but this is what some experts and we thought he had. Today professionals know enough that IQ scores of students with LD or autism can be inaccurate. IQ scores were misused for years; I discovered that when I first started teaching, and students were being placed in classes according to !Q. Not so much today.

    I write this because I urge all of you who have children with either a label of learning disabled or are in the spectrum to follow your intuition. You know your child better than any one else. Engage your husband, relatives, friends, and professionals in helping your child in positive ways and learning how to advocate for your child and to help your child learn to advocate also. I found Learning Disabilities Association of America to be very helpful. They have groups in each state who have all ready been through the ropes and are there to help you, especially in dealing with the schools. I found members in my own town who were there for me, and I attended quite of few of LDA yearly conferences. There are some good autism groups, but I found help there mostly online. Hope this helps. I’s how we got through some difficult times.

    • Susan
      January 9, 2014

      Carol, thank you for sharing your experience — I completely agree with your advice about trusting your intuition. We really know our kids best, even when we’re not sure how to best help them.

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This entry was posted on January 3, 2014 by in the same but different.
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