Facts about Asperger’s Syndrome

Through December 2016, I will be writing several comprehensive posts about my experiences with Asperger’s Syndrome that will be shared with my college course blog. Access to this blog is only available to my Washburn University students and professor.

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What was considered as unusual behavior in children, teenagers, and adults is now starting to become standard.  As I previously mentioned in an update Asperger’s Syndrome – or ASD is now grouped with Autism and ASD is labeled with Autism Spectrum Disorder.  However again it bears repeating that since I was ‘grandfathered’ into Asperger’s Syndrome and ASD, I will use this whenever being seen on my website and posts.

Earlier today, I mentioned that no one truly knows what causes ASD and Autism.  Theories come and go about how the mother survives during pregnancy.  However, a study has shown women who have identical twins one of the children will show a 30% risk chance of showing signs of ASD.

Asperger’s Syndrome is considered a developmental disorder, Asperger’s Syndrome is present at birth, in most instances, and continues throughout the person’s life span.  It can affect the person’s learning, language, capacity for independent living and self-care skills, although these skills are not always affected.  The main reason it is considered a developmental disorder is that it is a life-long condition and that it has such a substantial impact on the person’s life.

People with Asperger’s have trouble understanding what someone else is thinking and feeling.  They often need to be taught social behavior that is learned and typically understood by others.  They have difficulty understanding communication that is not spoken, so called, “non-verbal” communication, such as hand movements, facial expressions, and tone of voice.

They often describe themselves as feeling different from most other people.  They tend to see the world in black and white, with difficulty compromising or seeing the gray areas.  Eye contact is difficult for them.  All this adds to their social awkwardness and trouble relating to others. Finally, yet importantly, there is one more fact that is rather alarming – even which I never knew.

There is no evidence that people with Asperger’s Syndrome are any more prone to violent behavior than the general population.  They are sometimes diagnosed with other mental health conditions like depression, anxiety, bi-polar disorder, and obsessive-compulsive disorder, and whatever aggressive, violent behavior they might demonstrate is more likely due to these other conditions than to Asperger’s Syndrome itself.

According to Professor Elizabeth Laugeson, at UCLA, there is no clear association between Asperger’s Syndrome and violent behavior.  She notes that while there may be a higher rate of aggressive behavior in people with Asperger’s Syndrome, as there is with Autism, planning and intending violent behavior is not characteristic of Asperger’s Syndrome.