Nutrition

Asperger's Disorder explained

Author: Canadian Living

Nutrition

Asperger's Disorder explained

What is Asperger's Disorder?
Asperger's Disorder (AD) is considered a pervasive developmental disorder. This means it causes significant problems in many areas of the child's development, including socialization, communication, behaviour, thinking, and activities.

Children, teens and adults who have AD have significant problems with:

1. Socializing with others
2. Thinking
3. Emotions
4. Intense preoccupation with one or two topics
5. Repetitive routines, behaviours, and movements
6. Play
7. Speech and language
8. Motor skills
9. Sensitivity to sensations of sound, light or touch

Individuals with AD are different from people with other pervasive developmental disorders in that they do not have significant delays in language, cognitive development, or self-help skills.

Symptoms of AD are seen in every setting, including at home, in the classroom, on the playground, and in after-school and extracurricular activities. Virtually every area of the AD child's life is affected.

Symptoms of AD may begin to develop as early as age two; however, it is most often recognized after the child starts school, where his unusual manner of talking and failure to play appropriately with his peers begins to surface. The combination of symptoms results in a child who is identified by others as "odd" and is quickly rejected by his peers.

Symptoms of AD
Social
• Often prefers to be by himself
• Unaware of how his behaviour and/or comments affect others
• Seems uninterested in activities that involve competition
• Does not seem influenced by peer pressure, fads, trends or pop culture
• Inability to interact with peers
• Lack of desire to interact with peers
• Poor appreciation of social cues and body language
• Limited facial expressions
• Socially inappropriate responses
• Seems uninterested in what others have to say in a conversation
• Does not ask others questions or their opinions
• Makes limited eye contact
• Limited use of expressive hand or body gestures
• Does not look others in the eye

Thinking patterns
• Impressive long-term memory for facts
• Seems almost obsessed with a particular topic
• Expects others to understand what he thinks without telling them
• Does not ask for clarification when confused
• Cannot imagine what others are thinking
• Cannot interpret others' intentions

Emotions
• Does not understand how other people feel; lacks empathy
• Extreme reactions to minor upsets
• Fails to modify emotional expression to match the situation
• Feelings are all-or-none
• Cannot read emotions of people's faces

Page 1 of 2


Excerpted from The Asperger's Answer Book: The Top 300 Questions Parents Ask by Susan Ashley, Ph.D. Copyright 2007 by Susan Ashley. Excerpted with permission by Sourcebooks. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced without permission in writing from the publisher.

Intense preoccupation with one or two topics
• Fanatical about his interest
• Seems obsessed with interest
• Talks incessantly about his interest
• Little interest in other topics
• Pursues advanced knowledge about his interest
• Shows off knowledge in almost encyclopedic manner

Repetitive routines, behaviours and movements
• Sticks to rigid routine
• Difficulty being flexible
• Imposes routine on others
• Needs excessive reassurance when changes take place
• Upset by changes in routine
• Repetitive, senseless body movements

Play
• Seems to not understand how to play with other children
• Does not know unspoken rules of play
• Often prefers to play by himself rather than with peers
• Uses playmates as objects
• Intense reaction if play does not go his way
• Controlling of playmates
• Difficulty sharing toys
• Lacks imaginative play

Speech and language
• Interprets things literally
• Does not understand figures of speech, metaphors
• Has an unusual tone of voice
• Talks in an overly precise manner
• Uses advanced vocabulary
• Odd rhythm
• Peculiar voice characteristics

Motor skills
• Poor coordination
• Poor ball play
• Odd gait when walking or running
• Poor writing

Sensory sensitivity
• Overly reactive to sounds
• Overly reactive to lights
• Overly reactive to fabrics
• Resistant to food textures

Page 2 of 2


Excerpted from The Asperger's Answer Book: The Top 300 Questions Parents Ask by Susan Ashley, Ph.D. Copyright 2007 by Susan Ashley. Excerpted with permission by Sourcebooks. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced without permission in writing from the publisher.

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Asperger's Disorder explained

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