Asperger's Syndrome

Essay by djheshamCollege, UndergraduateA+, November 2004

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Asperger's Syndrome

Asperger's Syndrome (AS), one of the autistic spectrum disorders, is severe and sustained impairment in social interaction and the development of limited or restricted patterns of behavior, interests, and activities. Asperger's syndrome is also known as Asperger's disorder. Hans Asperger, a Viennese pediatrician, accurately described children with this syndrome in the 1940's and was officially recognized in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders for the first time in the fourth edition published in 1994 (Bauer, 1). Asperger's disorder is described as a pervasive developmental disorder characterized by difficulty or inability to understand how to interact socially. Autism is distinguished by the marked early language delay that is a different symptom than Asperger's syndrome. There are several studies being conducted in the research, prognosis, diagnosis, and treatment of Asperger's syndrome.

Asperger Syndrome is along the spectrum of pervasive developmental disorders or the Autism spectrum. This condition is represented by a neurologically-based disorder of development, most frequently of unknown cause, in which there are abnormalities in three aspects of development: social skills, language communication, behavioral and stylistic characteristics involving repetitive features, and limited intense ranges of interests (Bauer, 1).

The range of this disorder can be from mild to severe according to these three characteristics of dysfunction. Asperger syndrome is characterized by higher cognitive abilities and by more normal language function in the spectrum of Autism. Many researchers feel that the higher cognitive skills and the normal basic language abilities are the two areas of strength that distinguish AS from other forms of Autism (Bauer, 2). Asperger Syndrome shows a wide spectrum of symptom severity, children who meet the criteria for a diagnosis receive no diagnosis at all and are viewed as "unusual" or "different," or are incorrectly diagnosed with conditions such as Attention Deficit Disorder or emotional...