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Asperger's Syndrome

Asperger's Syndrome is an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) that was first identified by physician Hans Asperger in 1944, but was only added to the DSM IV in 1994. As a result, many children have been misdiagnosed with Autism, Attention Deficit Disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and even Schizophrenia.

Individuals with Asperger's Syndrome can exhibit a variety of characteristics and the disorder can range from mild to severe. The most distinguishing characteristics are limited interests and an intense preoccupation with a particular subject to the exclusion of other activities. For instance, some children with Asperger's Syndrome have become experts on trains, airplanes, garbage trucks, models of cars, even types of revolving doors and other odd topics.

A particular interest can last for a period of time and then switch to something else. The son of this website's author and owner, has Asperger's and has been an expert on waste management, vacuum cleaners, sharks and now airlines of the world. In fact, not only did he know the routes and destinations of every major airline in the world, he also takes flying lessons where he pilots the airplane single-handedly with a flight instructor beside him.

This preoccupation with one subject of interest can be both a blessing and a curse - as a parent, you know what I mean. Many of the world's geniuses such as Einstein and Leonardo Da Vinci were on the spectrum, and even Bill Gates is rumored to have Asperger's Syndrome - if you ever watch him speak you will notice a certain "wooden" expression and a flat, monotone affect. But with his intense focus and one-pointed interests he certainly did not do too badly for himself.

   

In fact, Microsoft Corporation is rumored to be full of engineers and computer "geeks" with Asperger's Syndrome. Santa Clara County, home to Microsoft Inc., has the highest rates of autism in the country - 1:150, or one child in every 150. Children with Asperger's Syndrome naturally gravitate towards careers such as engineering and computer science, and parents with Asperger's Syndrome are more likely to have a child with an autistic spectrum disorder.

There is, in fact, a distinct genetic component to Asperger's Syndrome, and from what I have heard the constellation of genes is passed down through the mother. As well, there may be certain "triggers" which may precipitate the condition, such as environmental pollutants, prenatal factors, and childhood vaccinations. Asperger's appears in both boys and girls but boys are three to four times more likely to have the syndrome.

Unlike children with autism, children with Asperger's have an extremely good command of language and a very rich vocabulary. This often makes them seem like "little professors". However, children with Asperger's Syndrome can become isolated because of their poor social skills and narrow interests.

Other markers for Asperger's include a history of developmetal delays in motor skills such as climbing playground equipment, holding a pencil, or riding a bike. Many also have anxieties, fears, and phobias, and in the teenage years they can be prone to depression.

Many of these characteristics can be remediated with specific types of therapy aimed at teaching social and pragmatic skills, and with biomedical approaches such as nutritional therapy, targeted supplements, and removing toxins from the body.

So although it is more challenging, children with Asperger's Syndrome can and do have relationships, careers, families, and happy and productive lives.


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IMPORTANT NOTE: Just like with autism, there is no known single cause for Asperger's Syndrome, and there is also no known single cure.

While there are many different theories about the best course of treatment for Asperger's Syndrome, most professionals agree that the earlier the intervention begins, the better the child can be helped.

We recommend targeted nutritional supplements in conjunction with a detoxification protocol as a simple, non-invasive way to further your child's potential.


Diagnostic Criteria for Asperger's Disorder (DSM IV-TR)

A. Qualitive impairment in social interaction, as manifested by at least two of the following:

  1. Marked impairments in the use of multiple nonverbal behaviors such as eye-to-eye gaze, facial expression, body postures, and gestures to regulate social interaction
  2. Failure to develop peer relationships appropriate to developmental levels
  3. A lack of spontaneity in seeking to share enjoyment, interests, or achievements with other people (ie. by a lack of showing, bringing, or pointing out objects of interest to other people)
  4. Lack of social or emotional reciprocity

B. Restricted repetitive and stereotyped patterns of behavior, interests and activities, as manifested by at least one of the following:

  1. Encompassing preoccupation with one or more stereotyped and restricted patterns of interest that is abnormal either in intensity or focus
  2. Apparently inflexible adherence to specific, nonfunctional routines or rituals
  3. Stereotyped and repetitive motor mannerisms (ie. hand or finger flapping or twisting, or complex whole-body movements)
  4. Persistent preoccupation with parts of objects

C. The disturbance causes clinically significant impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning

D. There is no clinically significant general delay in language (ie. single words used by age 2 years, communicative phases used by age 3 years)

E. There is no clinically significant delay in cognitive development or in the development of age-appropriate self-help skills, adaptive behavior (other than social interaction), and curiosity about the environment in childhood

F. Criteria are not met for another Pervasive Developmental Disorder or Schizophrenia


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View our Resources for Parents page.

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Leaf motif Asperger’s Syndrome
Asperger’s Syndrome is an autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) that was first identified by physician Hans Asperger in 1944, but was only added to the DSM-IV in 1994.

As a result, many children have been misdiagnosed with Autism, Attention Deficit Disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and even Schizophrenia. 
More info on Asperger's Syndrome >>>

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