Essay: Asperger's syndrome

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  • Asperger's syndrome
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Introduction
Normal is to be accepted to society with common behaviors that conform to the social standards within a specific society. When something or someone is not typical or are unusual which the idea of distance from conformity that society is comfortable with. In which it creates judgement, exclusion, and stigmatization or shunning within society. A true reality has everyone set in their own set of beliefs to form normal, and it takes courage to be your own normal within society if you have Asperger’s Syndrome. Asperger’s Syndrome has their differences which are normal to people that have Asperger’s Syndrome, but not to the rest of society and even other individuals that have Asperger’s Syndrome.
The people with Asperger’s Syndrome tend to have their own different way of perceiving, processing, relating, and interacting with society and other people in general. Asperger’s Syndrome effects an individuals’ communication and expression their creativity, thoughts, ideas, actions and emotions. Individuals with Asperger’s Syndrome have different learning needs and styles of learning as do most people in the first place. Have the social perception and communication differences with create unique challenges for the individuals and others within their own lives. This may make them unable to read body or facial expressions or understand social cues (Getty, N. 2013). Asperger’s Syndrome is estimated to affect approximately 0.092% of the population (Doody, J. & Bull, P. 2013). Asperger’s Syndrome is very complicated in many different ways in which makes treatments and even research complicated and hard to collect.
Diagnosis
The best way that was found within all of the articles to have a diagnosis of Asperger’s Syndrome was to have a multidisciplinary team diagnose the children. Also the diagnosis is only based on behaviors and social impairments that are able to be seen and observed within different social interactions with others, because there is no biological way to diagnose this disease at this point in time. Asperger’s Syndrome disorder individuals should always have a doctor specialized in psychiatry whether it be an adult, child, or adolescent psychiatrist. Also teams may include a social worker, physical education teacher, special education teacher, general education teachers, physical therapist, occupational therapist, campus administration, parents, school counselor, and any other community member or individual the student or parent would like to invite. These people also help develop ways for intervention plans for students which will be looked at later on (Portway, S.M., & Johnson, B. 2005, Roy, M. et. all, 2009, Biggs, M.G., Simpson, C. & Gaus, M.D., 2010).
Asperger’s Syndrome
Asperger’s Syndrome Disorder came to light in the 1990’s to be included in the International Classification of Diseases 10th edition and the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders 4th edition. Asperger’s Syndrome is a psychic-emotional system that is also a pervasive developmental disorder. Little is known about the causes of Asperger’s Syndrome disorder, but it is suspected and thought to be genetic, because Asperger’s Syndrome tends to run within families. There are two different genes that are connected to some of the behavioral traits of Asperger’s Syndrome that are similar to Autism. Disorders that are like Asperger’s Syndrome and Autism are types of disorders that involve clinically significant impairments in social interactions and repetitive or stereotyped patterns of behaviors with no particular problem with cognitive functioning. Asperger’s Syndrome is a gross and sustained social impairment that has restricted and repetitive patterns and behaviors, interests, and activities, which lasts for the entire life span of the individual that has Asperger’s Syndrome Disorder.
Typically the symptoms are shown or become apparent within the third year of life, because this is when children are brought into a social environment with other children. Individuals that have Asperger’s Syndrome have a socially significant impairment in ability to engage in meaningful interactions, unlike Autism it does not have the severe delays in language or other cognitive skills of the sort. Features of Asperger’s Syndrome Disorder include: speech, non-verbal, communication, social interactions, resistance to change, motor coordination, and skills and interests. There are also subtle aspects of social communication that may be impaired with persons of Asperger’s Syndrome. People with Asperger’s Syndrome may be unable to maintain normal eye contact, and they tend to make unusual facial expressions, body posture, or gestures without knowing that they are doing it. Children that have Asperger’s Syndrome may have problems developing age-appropriate peer relationships, and may show little to no interest in establishing friendships and other relationships. Also children with Asperger’s Syndrome are often described as displaying motor clumsiness and awkwardness due to being less athletic than most children. Older individuals that have Asperger’s Syndrome Disorder may have the interests in making relationships, but may have a lack of understanding of the different social conventions that are used within normal social situations.
People with Asperger’s Syndrome tend to lack social or emotional reciprocity, and they prefer to be alone than with other people. Social interaction can affect their social impairments which are typically one-sided within the process of socialization. These people with Asperger’s Syndrome also have different preoccupations with specific topics, and there is also a language development that is normal with the exception of talking about things of their own interests. Individuals with Asperger’s Syndrome may be wordy, fail to self-monitor, often clumsy and have poor coordination. The parents or caregivers of individuals with Asperger’s Syndrome are not worried about their child until the socialization process starts, because they didn’t see the disorder until the children were exposed to other peers then they have learned that their child has social difficulties and Asperger’s Syndrome becomes apparent.
The verbal abilities that children with Asperger’s Syndrome have is masked severity of social dysfunction and may also be misleading. Autism, Asperger’s Syndrome and Rhett Syndrome are all similar and also controversial because of their different definitions and ideas that they are all on a spectrum because there is enough things that are different about each specific one that it is hard to see that they are all related in some way or another. Asperger’s Syndrome is found in and also tends to be diagnosed more times in boys than girls. There are completely effective treatments, but most treatments look at enhancing communication skills and reducing problem behaviors of individuals with Asperger’s Syndrome Disorder. There are different types of systems that can be used for treatments such as: rewarding for social behaviors that are good with either food or prizes, and also medications focuses on specific behaviors or symptoms of Asperger’s Syndrome (Range, L.D. & Piotrowski, N.P. 2013, Longhurst, J., Richards, D., Copenhaver, J. & Morrow, D. 2010, Getty, N. 2013, Gee, N., 2012, Mandell, D.S. & Novak, M., 2005, Schindler, A. 2008, Portway, S.M. & Johnson, B., 2005, Roy, M., Dillo, W., Emrich, H.M., Ohlmeier, M.D. & Spreng, M., 2009, Martin, I. & McDonald., 2004, Sansosti, F.J. & Powell-Smith, K.A., 2006, & Barnhill, G.P., 2001, Biggs, M.G., Simpson, C. & Gaus, M.D. 2010).
Life with Asperger’s Syndrome
People who have High Functioning Autism and Asperger’s Syndrome are observed to have performed significantly worse at verbally identifying the facial expressions of fear, anger, sadness, and disgust. These same children with Asperger’s Syndrome and the control group had no significant differences in match different facial expressions to different emotions. Within a study written by Doody & Bull was case study there was not a significant difference on any one of the four tasks. There were however certain parts of different tasks that the people with Asperger’s Syndrome did do significantly worse than the control group which were: verbally labeling the fear body postures, and these children with Asperger’s also took a longer time to answer the body posture of anger (Doody, J. & Bull, P., 2013).
Jonathan Smith wrote an article about his own life being a person with Asperger’s Syndrome Disorder. Within his article we see how it is important to see his own life through his eyes to understand his case and have an overall understanding to anyone else that has Asperger’s Syndrome. Individuals may be misdiagnosed the first time symptoms come up from Asperger’s Syndrome, and Jonathan was one of these people who were misdiagnosed. People with Asperger’s Syndrome also are often found to be alone, in trouble, or bullied just as Jonathan was. As accommodations were made for him and his received his real diagnosis of Asperger’s Syndrome it was found that he had an easier time with school. He also found out that he was gifted in specific subjects but not in others. This is also true to most people who have Asperger’s Syndrome. The major problems that he had in every school except his last school was that people would bully and torment him and this happens with other children that have Asperger’s Syndrome. These children with Asperger’s Syndrome also have a hard time with keeping eye contact with other people within social situations, and with that not having much eye contact may get them into trouble because others especially adults may think that they are not paying attention to what they are saying. The differences in how the family and educators can make or break a child with Asperger’s Syndrome is if he or she has a good support system. Jonathan and other children with Asperger’s Syndrome can make progress and gain more social skills with the help others. To help people that have Asperger’s Syndrome patience is the number one key thing to have. Also if Asperger’s Syndrome individuals start to get angry you should take them out of the situation or environment to minimize the external influences, and to sit down one on one to mellow out the person. Also using language that pertains to yourself and not the person with Asperger’s Syndrome is also helpful and less intimidating. Asperger’s Syndrome individuals tend to obsess over specific interests or subjects for long periods of time, and in a way it helps them hold in what would be outbursts. This could also hurt them because the obsession could make the individual lose concentration on other important subjects within their own life such as loved ones, education, and even any other relationships. If the obsession is not unhealthy or hurting anyone people should just let it go and let the person with Asperger’s Syndrome obsess over it for as long as they need to and want to. All that is needed to be a proactive person with others that have Asperger’s Syndrome is to have love, patience, and a lot of support towards them and for others with in their lives (Smith. J.J., 2012).
Treatments
Psychotherapy is used to enhance communication skills and reduce problem behaviors of individuals with Asperger’s Syndrome (Range, L.D. & Piotrowski, N.P. 2013) As a therapeutic treatment it is seen that with youth in the Autistic Spectrum is done through a group and has an approach that promotes flexibly and accommodations for the students with Asperger’s Syndrome to make everything work out for them and fellow students with Asperger’s Syndrome (Barnhill, G.P. 2001).
Some specific effective methods of treatment for people with Asperger’s Syndrome include: individual psychotherapy, social skills training, behavior modification, parent education, sensory integration training, and educational interventions. (Barnhill, G.P. 2001)
Externalization of emotions is thought to help children with Autism Spectrum Disorders which includes Asperger’s Syndrome by being aware of their own emotions and learning how to self-regulate to help them integrate better into society. This self-regulation and self-awareness should help people affected with an Autism Spectrum Disorder with their verbal and non-verbal feedback that they give and also increase the understanding of social conventions of social interactions in which are hard for children with an Autism Spectrum Disorder to develop. The process of externalization of emotions is facilitated by the parent(s) or caregiver(s) to develop the emotional regulation skills and comment on the positives within the society that the children are living in. A therapist is also included with the externalization of emotions and their main focus is to help the child with the Autism Spectrum Disorder complete the externalization process by naming the different emotions and learning the ability to keep emotions in check. The therapist must first asses the family and how the family also deals with emotional content prior to using the technique. The therapist is also there to encourage clients to not use violent means to deal with any problem. After the process of externalization of emotions is finished and a therapeutic plan is put in place it is important to let everyone know that comes in contact with the child who has the Autism Spectrum Disorder so they know what to do in times of crisis. This type of a treatment or therapy is not suitable for families that just want to ‘fix their child’ with an Autism Spectrum Disorder. It also does not work well with children that have an Autism Spectrum Disorder who are so unaware of surroundings and their own emotions that you must teach them how to self-sooth because that makes it hard to try and get the child to even talk their emotions. This specific technique should be limited to children with Autism Spectrum Disorders which includes Asperger’s Syndrome, as previously stated, that have verbal and cognitive abilities to understand their own emotions and explain them to others (Johnson, J. 2012).
Bullying
Over seventy five percent of children with Asperger’s Syndrome felt they were bullied in the education system. People with Asperger’s Syndrome can often be na??ve, over trusting, and have a strong desire to be included with in society. The effects of bullying may linger long into adulthood for these people who have Asperger’s Syndrome. People with disabilities are often the victims of bullies and for Asperger’s Syndrome individuals particularly their needs are not being addressed or meet in such programs. Children with Asperger’s Syndrome often find themselves being socially isolated or caught in the middle of different situations which is related to a lack of understanding or the rules for social behavior, lack of awareness of accepted social norms, lack of common sense, the probability to misunderstand different social cues and unspoken messages, and a display of socially unaccepted responses. Specific deficits within Asperger’s Syndrome may result in social isolation or aggressive behaviors. If aggressiveness is displayed in a child’s behavior it makes them easier targets. Students that have disabilities are often targeted due to lack of social skills and low self-confidence, and they are at least twice more likely to be bullied on a regular basis than that others. Acts of bullying that children with Asperger’s Syndrome experience often can lead to poor self-image and clinical levels of depression or anxiety. Significant psychosocial effects throughout life can occur. Which may lead the victim to not want to attend school. Along with coexisting physical deficits that children have with Asperger’s Syndrome leads to these same children not wanting to do physical education within school or any other extracurricular sports/activities. Coexisting conditions may contribute to difficulties in the physical education setting. It is uncommon for children with Asperger’s Syndrome to have high athletic skills or even normal athletic skills. Social deficits along with physical deficits can create more challenges when participating in physical activities or education. Social interaction and physical performance often work together. Children with Asperger’s Syndrome are normally with an unsteady gait, slow movements, or less stamina are viewed by bullies as weak which makes them a target for verbal or physical abuse. Community based programs of competitive natures are a barrier to people who have Asperger’s Syndrome.
One main thing that is needed for people with Asperger’s Syndrome is adapted physical activity or education for the various needs of different types of people. Families tend to have to seek out extra help for support and find resources and programs that will accommodate children with Asperger’s Syndrome Disorder. Valuing the skills and knowledge of many different individuals to design a plan of intervention that helps ensure that students with Asperger’s Syndrome are safe and feel welcome. This will help bring the most effective intervention type to rely on accountability of those people designing the approach. Intervention must address a student’s levels of cognitive understanding, so that a student with Asperger’s Syndrome was presented to and helped develop their own intervention plan that work for them.
As advocates of Asperger’s Syndrome we can seek out opportunities for students with Asperger’s Syndrome to participate in extracurricular activities and normal physical education classes that are adapted to their specific needs. A team approach is beneficial when help people with Asperger’s Syndrome in many different ways such as: enhancing self-determination, addressing social skills interventions, and promote development of social skills and services. Interventions should be for everyone including the bully to show that it is wrong and that we should tell someone when something like that is happening to them. Interventions are only effective is everyone is involved in the process. Recognizing that children with Asperger’s Syndrome have a higher chance of getting bullied is the first step to begin an anti-bullying program that includes children with Asperger’s Syndrome and also with other disabilities. There should be a confidential way to report bullying for anyone and this should include people who have Asperger’s Syndrome. It is activism and communication that lies at the heart of change and understanding Asperger’s Syndrome and bullying. This will help educators teach children with Asperger’s Syndrome the skills they need to address the bullying issues if the specific child has encountered those problems (Biggs, M.G., Simpson, C. & Gaus, M.D., 2010).
Programs in Society
There has been a school with the name of Montcalm Boarding school which made for boys the ages of 12-21. This school helps with the success in empowering youth to help each other through a therapeutic group approach. Montcalm which is the school that believes there will be success in treating youth within the Autism Spectrum who struggle. Montcalm school has found success in the treatment of these youth with a program was developed specifically for their treatment. A Program called ‘Outside In’ reflects difficulties that children with Asperger’s Syndrome Disorder experience in belonging with peers, families, and communities. Individuals with Asperger’s Syndrome require different attention, counseling, educational plans, social skill developments, and the power of peers is real and has significant impacts on their lives. Within this process of group therapy we see multiple youths with Asperger’s Syndrome talk about their experiences during the day while at school. They help one student with Asperger’s to help them understand and work toward a resolution of problems that are identified from the current day. The process helps these youth with Asperger’s Syndrome and is not restricted due to time in the group but is also important component of the whole day. Leading researchers and practitioners working with the youth that have Asperger’s Syndrome emphasize that attention must be paid attention to everyone in the group and to their own unique sensory experiences and methods. Knowing everyone’s differences it can help with adaptations to the environment to help everyone.
Changes in routine seem normal for most people but could throw anyone with Asperger’s Syndrome off for the rest of the day. Attention must be paid attention to sufficient accommodations in the environments to create normal experiences for every student that has Asperger’s. Attending to needs of the sensory aspects for the different people it can be hard because of creating successful opportunities for social interactions and causing complete disasters within the student(s) day. Children with Asperger’s Syndrome need consistent reframing and focus on the effects of actions rather than engaging in a debate of what did or didn’t happen. Different accommodations that can be made are for the students with Asperger’s Syndrome are as follows: the time of day the sessions are held, the length of the session, ‘check ins’ and reminders, flexibility in seating, and also fidget tools so that have something to do with their hands.
One of the things that ‘Outside In’ helps with is the children with Asperger’s and their parents is to feel comforted and to learn that their not alone in the experiences and have much in common with other families that also have children who have Asperger’s Syndrome Disorder. During family days or special events that are held by the school the parents of the students with Asperger’s would have arrangements to stay overnight and hang out with the other parents of children with Asperger’s that went to this school. These relationships that come about from these accommodations tend to stay way after the child’s stay at the school. They are also helped by knowing that they are part of a group that cares about them, can learn about their environment through adapted eyes, and also that they have value. Persistence and patience are required in different skills for the success with ‘Outside In’ students and with any other individual that have Asperger’s Syndrome. It is a good thing to understand that behaviors have a purpose and it is vital to understand its purpose no matter what type of person you are. In the group approach, individual counseling, and support for Asperger’s Syndrome individuals can develop maintain, and value their relationships with others and society (Longhurst, J., Richards, D., Copenhaver, J. & Morrow, D. (2010).
The Asperger’s Syndrome Project is also something that provides us with empirical information to find a valid profile of individuals with Asperger’s Syndrome. This specific study finds that it is important to determine what the individual with Asperger’s Syndrome strengths and concerns that they are others may have towards interventions designed that will work for them. Asperger’s Syndrome individuals may be able to provide answers to hypothetical social situations, or know about certain things. Once things like these previous statements comes up within their own lives they may not know how or what to do in the specific situation. This should lead to modeling social skills, role-play, and feedback which are important components of instruction for Asperger’s Syndrome individuals. People with Asperger’s Syndrome are extremely verbal but may have experienced difficulties in interpreting and listening to others. Also constructing solutions to routine problems and challenges that occur within society that are not so routine to persons that have Asperger’s Syndrome. All of the areas that people with Asperger’s Syndrome need within education planning is needed to be looked at especially with different people with Asperger’s because they are all different even though they have the same disorder. These students that have Asperger’s Syndrome will be unsuccessful in school if the right accommodations and routines are not provided for them.
Characteristics of impairments of Asperger’s Syndrome are emotionally reactive, low endurance/tone, oral sensory sensitivity, inattention/distractibility, poor registration, and sedentary which is defined as someone who sits most of the time and in for the most part inactive (Barnhill, G.P. 2001).
Society Can Do Things to Help
People that have Asperger’s Syndrome are recognized as being on a spectrum or a continuum in which no one person has the exact same challenges or strengths as someone else along the spectrum. Also each person must be evaluated individually to have their own unique needs assessed and care for. Individuals with Asperger’s Syndrome need to recharge from a sensory overload and escalated anxieties that are created from stepping outside of their own comfort zones which is crucial for anyone on the autism spectrum or for someone who does not like to get out of there comfort zone. With guidance, support, and reassurance barriers are penetrable and individuals with Asperger’s Syndrome Disorder will develop different strategies to overcome their differences in society.
Many adults who have Asperger’s Syndrome have become world renowned authors and have spoken openly about experiences in being misunderstood due to actions, reactions, and behavior that are not accepted as normal. History has shown that differences can be understood and a new normal created, but within this you must have persistence, determination, understanding, and passion. We all have the power to be empowering to others to create a new normal. Society’s focus is on a cure for Autism but the focus should be understanding the mysteries of Autism but awareness is improving. There are things that are easy to forget that shouldn’t be forgotten because of the need for the support, having advocates for the cause of Asperger’s Syndrome, and to see children, adolescents, and adults, for who they are and celebrate them for their special qualities. The majority of people who have Asperger’s Syndrome Disorder are capable to live and lead productive lives, but it’s due to the lack of understanding and supports from others that these people with Asperger’s Syndrome may never attempt to bring skills forward into the workforce and society. For people that don’t have Asperger’s Syndrome it is important to be dependable, understanding, patient, and positive in the pursuit of solving the mystery of Asperger’s Syndrome and to open doors for people with Asperger’s Syndrome to have a productive and comfortable future within their own lives. (Getty, N. 2013)
Conclusion
Asperger’s Syndrome is estimated to affect approximately 0.092% of the world’s population (Doody, J. & Bull, P. 2013). Asperger’s Syndrome is not always the exact same in different people, and it is not easy to diagnose. Also Asperger’s is not always seen and takes a while to get noticed within a child’s life. With Asperger’s Syndrome Disorder being a disability these people are most likely being looked at by society in a different way, because they are not normal according to the social norm and also being a minority life is harder on them. This disability of Asperger’s Syndrome can and does affect anyone that has the disorder because it never goes away and it affects the social lives and communication with others for a lifetime. These people also tend to be misunderstand a lot of the time and society needs to realize that this is just a different way of normal life that needs to be accommodated for. Asperger’s Syndrome does not really have any accommodations at this very moment within society expect small things that have been researched, but research has stopped on this population once the study was over. This disorder is also not research much and if it is these finds can differ from different studies and because the cause of it isn’t known. Asperger’s Syndrome is very complicated in many different ways in which makes treatments and even research complicated and hard to collect.

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