What is Asperger's Syndrome
Asperger’s Syndrome (AS) is a form of Autism. It is a lifelong disability that affects how a person makes sense of the world, how they process information and how they relate to other people.
Most Aspies have difficulties in these three main areas:
- Social/emotional communication
- Social interaction
- Social imagination
There are over half a million people in the UK with disorders on the Autistic Spectrum – that’s 1 in 100 people! Although people with (AS) come from all nationalities, cultures, social backgrounds and religions, the condition appears to be much more common in males than in females; the reason is unknown.
Asperger’s Syndrome, or (AS), is sometimes referred to as ‘Able Autism’ or ‘High Functioning Autism’. It includes people of average to high intelligence and is part of the ‘Triad of Impairments’ that typifies Autism. This ‘Triad’ refers to the impairments of communication, social interaction and social imagination. It is a hereditary disorder that stems from structural abnormalities in several regions of the brain.
Interestingly, researchers are now learning that (AS) is not linked to other forms of Autism, but rather is closely related to another genetic disability, Bipolar Disorder. People with (AS) may have narrow interests and show inflexibility in their thoughts and behaviours but one of the serious issues is often their apparent independence, which belies their social disability. Although some Aspies manage very well in some areas of life, they can struggle with others and the mismatch of intelligence and performance can be easily confusing for other people.
Often, (AS) goes undiagnosed for some time throughout teenage years and may not be detected until adulthood. These years of living with the condition without any support or understanding can lead to other problems like anxiety or depression. Once diagnosed, people with (AS) cannot be cured but most Aspies benefit from specialised early interventions that focus on behaviour management and social skills training. A good Doctor or Special Education Department at school can identify available resources.
(AS) can be a difficult, lonely disorder as it brings problems with socialising and communicating. It is not uncommon for people to stare when an Aspie is experiencing a ‘meltdown’ because most people are unaware that this is part of the disability. Luckily, Asperger’s Syndrome is gaining more widespread recognition and I hope this website will help, not only Aspies, but others to understand more about us.