What is Asperger Syndrome?

A brief introduction

connect-20333_960_720Asperger Syndrome is relatively new compared to other conditions having only been introduced in the 1980’s by acclaimed psychiatrist Lorna Wing. She was a specialist when it came to child development and was well known for acting as a pioneer for autism awareness around the world.

It was decided that people considered to have Asperger Syndrome would see and interact with the world differently to those considered to be neurotypical. The condition causes individuals to almost feel alienated among their own species as they find very simple and rudimentary tasks to be that much more confusing and complicated.

There is unfortunately no known cure for Asperger Syndrome, which means people with the condition have to find strategies to help them navigate through issues they find most confusing. However, given there are a number of notable benefits that come from the condition, people with Asperger Syndrome often feel a certain level of pride and consider it a huge factor behind their profile as a person.

As with anyone on the spectrum, people with Asperger Syndrome are likely to incur a number of mental health problems as a result of their struggles with day-to-day life. The most common of which would be depressive states which could be caused through social anxiety, information overload or a break in familiar routine.

Anyone with Asperger Syndrome is likely to have average to above average levels of intelligence. Compared to people on the other end of the autism spectrum, people with Asperger’s are less likely to have issues with learning, but may find certain aspects of language and communication to sometimes prove problematic.

Who does it affect?

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Autism is very common all around the world with there currently being around 700,000 people in the UK alone that are on the spectrum. There are no definitive profiles that suggest certain people from a particular ethic background or certain nationality are more likely to have Asperger Syndrome, although it has been suggested that the condition affects more men globally than women.

Asperger Syndrome leads to a number of sensory issues with the most common being the fact the world can often feel incredibly overwhelming and a place not suitable to be lived within. This can stem from the persistent levels of human interaction that is required on a daily basis whether at school, work or participating in a social event.

Another big concern for people with Asperger Syndrome is that they won’t look like they have a disability. This means unless the individual states that they have the condition, people will treat them in a way that could trigger some of the common sensory issues that lead to anxiety and depression.

How do I seek help?

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If you feel like you or someone close to you may have Asperger Syndrome then its important to seek out an official diagnosis. This can be done by visiting a trained psychiatrist who will be a to decipher your problems and determine whether your behaviour matches to that of someone on the autism spectrum.

There are many benefits to acknowledging that you have the condition and seeking a diagnosis which will help you feel more comfortable about your ability to get through life with reduced levels of anxiety and fear. It will also help other people around you understand the way you think and allow them to sympathize when you struggle with certain things at school, work or around the house.

Anyone on the spectrum is going to be hard pressed when it comes to both verbal and non-verbal forms of human interaction. This means misinterpreting the context of body language, tone of voice and not understanding that certain sentences may have a hidden meaning. People with Asperger’s are also likely to take most things literally and not allow the possibility for innuendo.

A common defence mechanism used by people with Asperger Syndrome would be to mimic or even directly repeat what other people have said in order to feel at ease within a social encounter.

What are the common signs for Asperger Syndrome?

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People with Asperger Syndrome are likely to struggle when it comes to identifying what other people are thinking and recognizing if they may be frustrated or upset with something or someone. The idea of expressing emotion is also very difficult for someone on the spectrum, which means delivery of speech and body language is often rigid and robotic.

They will also aim to form some sort of routine that helps them to shield against the unpredictable and spontaneous nature of life. This means they will have greater clarity over what each day will entail and enable better preparation for when things may not turn out as expected.

This could be eating and drinking the same things, using the same method of transport to get to work or school, and generally keeping track of time to ensure the day runs smoothly. People with Asperger Syndrome will also comply with rules and stick to the way they have been taught to do something.

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People on the spectrum will have very focused interests in which they will develop a strong sense of attachment and obsession. This could pretty much be anything from a film series, sports data, or breed of animal. Sometimes the obsessions could be considered abnormal, but they will still be adding some much-needed reassurance and comfort to the individual.

As previously mentioned, people with Asperger’s are going to all but certainly have some sensitivities to certain things. This could be bright lights, loud noises or certain temperatures. Over exposure could cause a surge of anxiety so finding coping mechanisms is always of paramount importance.

The cause for autism and specifically Asperger Syndrome is still being researched extensively around the world. So far, there has been no reason to believe that the condition is down to the upbringing of an individual or the quality of their surroundings from a social perspective.

Feel free to share your thoughts on the condition and how it has affected yourself or someone you know. Please comment your ideas below or simply contact me directly. I would love to hear what you have to say 🙂 


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