Understanding Asperger’s Syndrome: Asperger’s is a Trait, not a Disease

I believe many readers should have heard of Asperger syndrome. What you may not know is that in 2012, the American Psychiatric Association classified Asperger’s symptoms as Autism Spectrum Disorder. Immediately afterwards, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th Edition (DSM-5) updated by the American Psychiatric Association in 2013 also removed the separate symptom diagnosis of Asperger’s syndrome from the manual because its symptoms It has been included among the many symptoms of autism spectrum disorder.

This article will introduce you to the differences between Asperger’s syndrome, which is often confused with high-functioning autism (High-Functioning Autism), what the autism spectrum represents, and possible treatment directions.

The origin and definition of Asperger’s syndrome

The name Asperger’s syndrome was coined in 1944 by an Austrian physician, Hans Asperger. People with Asperger’s syndrome may have symptoms such as lack of empathy, clumsy movements, social difficulties, repetitive speech, etc. that can be classified as autism. The biggest difference between Asperger’s syndrome and autism is that people with Asperger’s syndrome do not have obvious delays in their early language development, and most of them are still eager to interact with others and are just socializing. Technically clumsy and dull.

Although Asperger’s syndrome cannot be completely cured with current medical technology, there are medications or behavioral treatments that can help reduce the characteristics of Asperger’s syndrome. One school of scholars even believes that disorders classified on the autism spectrum do not need to be treated because they are not mental illnesses, but a “personality trait” with different thinking and behavior patterns from most people. Some people have Some have many qualities, some have fewer. Since Asperger’s syndrome was removed from the list of mental illnesses and was classified as a type of autism spectrum disorder, the word Asperger’s is now mostly used to describe a person’s personality traits.

Interpreting autism cluster disorders using spectra

​The significance of establishing autistic disorders is not to generalize disorders that have some symptoms similar to autism in a narrow sense. Through the division of the spectrum, we can understand that there are different types and severity of autism-related traits. According to the definition proposed by the DSM-5 content, a disorder that can be classified as an autism spectrum disorder must include the following two elements:

  1. Difficulties in interpersonal communication and communication: including avoiding eye contact; having difficulty in going back and forth in conversations; ignoring whether others are willing to listen when talking about topics of interest; difficulty understanding other people’s emotions, such as Implications; inability to adapt to the situation; or stiff body movements and expressions. Patients may perform poorly due to symptoms of the disorder in situations where they need to communicate and interact with others, such as school or work.
  2. Extraordinary interest in specific things: People with Asperger’s syndrome will be particularly interested in numbers, details, and facts; they will pay too much attention to the arrangement and placement of things, or they will stack and place them repeatedly. behavior and cannot tolerate disruption of fixed schedules; sensitivity to environmental factors such as light, noise, temperature, etc. may also be higher or lower than ordinary people.

The Difference Between Asperger’s Syndrome and High-Functioning Autism

Because people with Asperger’s syndrome usually have the same or higher IQ than ordinary people, and their autistic tendencies are also lower, so people often compare Asperger’s syndrome with the same low autistic tendency. of high-functioning autism.

However, the biggest difference between them is that high-functioning autism has early language development delays, while Asperger’s syndrome does not. In other words, high-functioning autism will be more biased towards the autism spectrum in terms of autism spectrum disorders, and will have more difficulty expressing speech and maintaining interpersonal relationships than Asperger’s syndrome. However, this does not mean that people with high-functioning autism have intellectual disabilities. Generally, people with IQs above 70 and mild autism symptoms will be classified as high-functioning autism.

Asperger’s syndrome does not require treatment

Since Asperger’s syndrome does not have language delays, it is sometimes not always possible to detect it in a child’s early years. In extreme cases, some people may not even discover they have Asperger’s traits until adulthood.

Of course, even with Asperger’s syndrome does not require treatment syndrome, everyone’s symptoms are different. A mother of a child with Asperger’s syndrome does not require treatment syndrome claimed that her child could not speak many words until he was 3 years old, but at 4 After the age of 18, language skills begin to develop rapidly. This is actually because children with Asperger’s syndrome may lack interest in interacting with others in the early stages, resulting in slower learning, but they do not really have language development delays. This situation often makes parents worry.

For adults, Asperger’s syndrome has usually been controlled to a certain extent during the socialization process and does not require special treatment. However, if parents find that their child has symptoms consistent with autism during the development process, it is recommended to see a doctor for further testing. The earlier it is discovered whether the child has autistic tendencies, the earlier the education policy can be adjusted and the doctor’s instructions can be followed. Improve the situation.

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