I personally don't like the term disorder as it implies something "wrong" with the child and Aspergers children have so many great qualities that they can bring to the world. In this article I will give a simple explanation of some of the characteristics of Aspergers and how to manage feelings of depression and stress often associated with this condition. Firstly Aspergers is described as a 'pervasive developmental disorder' the same as autism. A pervasive developmental disorder is basically a term used by psychiatrists to loosely refer to people who have been impaired in their development in areas of socialization and communication.
To be specific pervasive developmental disorders have the following characteristics which are outlined below. Impairments in social interaction (e.g. talking and communicating with others) and imaginative activity (e.g. struggling to play games that need imagination such as "cops and robbers").
There will also be difficulties in verbal and nonverbal communication skills (e.g. problems in knowing what to say and also other things we all use for communication like body language, tone of voice) Usually there are a limited number of interests and activities that tend to be repetitive.
Individuals with Aspergers can exhibit a variety of characteristics and the disorder can range from mild to severe. People with Aspergers have problems with social skills, have difficulties with transitions or changes and prefer things to be the same. They often have obsessive routines and may be preoccupied with a particular subject of interest. They may also be too sensitive to sounds, tastes, smells, and sights. For example the person with Aspergers may prefer soft clothing, certain foods, and be bothered by sounds or lights no one else seems to hear or see. Children with Aspergers face challenges that affect their daily life, their communication with others, and their self-esteem.
Some children as they approach adolescence and find themselves faced with increased social interaction may experience anxiety and depression. Children with Aspergers have even been described to have social phobias. They are intelligent and recognize their inability to interact with others in social situations, making those situations seem even more threatening. They also have the inability to communicate their feelings of anxiety or distress, further challenging the ability to diagnose or understand their moods. Because of their lack of facial expression or body language, they may not even appear to be depressed.
The danger is that such an illness may not be recognized until it becomes serious. The child with Aspergers needs to be taught problem solving skills, relaxation techniques, and skills to recognize when their emotions are being impacted by external events. Maintaining optimal health is also a deterrent to possible depressive symptoms or feelings of low energy or stress.
It's important to remember that the person with Aspergers sees the world very differently. To assist the child with Aspergers, it is important to consult with a professional (usually a pediatrician) who not only has information about the child, but also about Aspergers. Hopefully this short article will provide useful information for you of the signs and characteristics of Aspergers and a greater understanding of how this may affect that person's emotional stability. This will help you to relate better to those people and support you both in planning effective interventions.
Dave Angel is a social worker with families who have children on the Autistic Spectrum and is the author of a new e-book that answers the 46 most asked questions by parents of children with Asperger's. To claim your free 7 day Mini-Course for parents of children with Asperger's Syndrome visit: http://www.parentingaspergers.com today.