by S. Michaels
We’ve had several responses to the blog posts concerning my learning to better live with my husband who has Asperger’s Syndrome. After discussing the need for valid information concerning adults with A.S. we’ve decided to provide a section of information on this blog. We welcome your input of information and comments.
The following information was very helpful to me during my quest for answers. I hope it will also be a help to those who are also seeking for answers. I highly recommend his web site for further information. (Remember he spells Australian style. J )
What is Asperger’s Syndrome?
–Tony Attwood http://www.tonyattwood.com.au/
“From my clinical experience I consider that children and adults with Asperger’s Syndrome have a different, not defective, way of thinking.”
|Dr Hans Asperger, an Austrian paediatrician, originally described Asperger’s Syndrome in 1944. The syndrome has more recently been classified as an autistic spectrum disorder. Children and adults with Asperger’s Syndrome have an intellectual capacity within the normal range, but have a distinct profile of abilities that has been apparent since early childhood. The profile of abilities includes the following characteristics:
*A qualitative impairment in social interaction:
*A qualitative impairment in subtle communication skills:
The disorder can also include motor clumsiness and problems with handwriting and being hypersensitive to specific auditory and tactile experiences. There can also be problems with organisational and time management skills and explaining thoughts and ideas using speech. The exact prevalence rates have yet to be determined, but research suggests that it may be as common as one in 250. The aetiology is probably due to factors that affect brain development and not due to emotional deprivation or other psychogenic factors.
The characteristics of Asperger’s Syndrome described above are based on the diagnostic criteria and current research and have also been modified as a result of my extensive clinical experience. I would like to provide a personalised description of Asperger’s Syndrome that also incorporates the person’s qualities as well as their difficulties.
From my clinical experience I consider that children and adults with Asperger’s Syndrome have a different, not defective, way of thinking. The person usually has a strong desire to seek knowledge, truth and perfection with a different set of priorities than would be expected with other people. There is also a different perception of situations and sensory experiences. The overriding priority may be to solve a problem rather than satisfy the social or emotional needs of others. The person values being creative rather than co-operative. The person with Asperger’s syndrome may perceive errors that are not apparent to others, giving considerable attention to detail, rather than noticing the ‘big picture’. The person is usually renowned for being direct, speaking their mind and being honest and determined and having a strong sense of social justice. The person may actively seek and enjoy solitude, be a loyal friend and have a distinct sense of humour. However, the person with Asperger’s Syndrome can have difficulty with the management and expression of emotions. Children and adults with Asperger’s syndrome may have levels of anxiety, sadness or anger that indicate a secondary mood disorder. There may also be problems expressing the degree of love and affection expected by others.