Asperger's Disorder is a developmental disorder that can have devastating symptoms and can be seen in children as young as two years old. It is not caused by and infection or virus and why it occurs is not fully understood, however it is not your fault. Although it isn't as debilitating as autism, Asperger's is no less impairing. Aspergers syndrome was first describe by Hans Asperger, an Austrian physician, in 1944. It is one of a sub set of what is called Autistic Spectrum Disorders in European countries, or Pervasive Developmental Disorders ("PDD"), in the United States.
As a parent of a toddler with Asperger's Syndrome there are probably many questions you want to have answered the main one being how will the disorder affect your child and your child's future? It can affect them in number of ways. Clumsiness is prominent both in their articulation and behavior however the most common difficulties are to do with communication. Sufferers often have a particularly strong area of interest. This area of interest can range form cars to doornobs to history or astronomy. They appear to be almost obsessed to the exclusion of more normal interests. There are also problems in social interaction and non-verbal communication.
Their speech can be strange due to abnormalities of inflection and a repetition. Whatever you do, don't give in to feelings of hopelessness that often accompany diagnoses of serious illnesses and rest assured: Your child will be capable of living a productive life the same as anyone else. According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of the American Psychiatric Association, Version Four, Text Revision, Asperger's Disorder is characterized by the following symptoms: - Impairment in social interaction as evidenced by reduced non-verbal behaviors such as eye contact, facial expressions, body postures, and gestures. - Failure to develop social peer relationships; the child is uninterested in same-age peers. - Lack of spontaneous seeking to enjoy bonding with others; the child is uninterested in sharing pleasurable experiences with others.
- Restricted repetitive and stereotyped patterns of behavior such as intense necessity for routine and organization, adherence to strange rituals, movements such as hand or finger flapping, twisting, or rocking. - The disturbance causes significant impairment in social behavior. - There is no clinically significant delay in language and communication single words. Unlike autism, children with Asperger's Disorder have much less social and learning impairment.
Now that you have familiarized yourself with the major characteristics of Asperger's there are a few more things that you can do to help your toddler cope with the world. Look into getting professional help. A reputable specialist familiar with the disorder can offer advice on your child's development and a clinical psychologist can work in tandem with your pediatrician to help improve your child's social skills through therapy and/or medication.
When your toddler is of age to begin pre-school, seek the counsel of a special education expert as well, as school is a very social and academic environment. The exact cause of Asperger's Disorder is still a mystery, and although there is no "cure" for this condition, there are many behavioral and psychiatric interventions that will help your child achieve a meaningful life. Hans Asperger, an Austrian physician, first described the syndrome in 1944.
Graham Johns writes regularly for YourToddler.net where you can read many more articles on toddler clothes. Also go to Family Life for a range of informative articles on baby toys and much more