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Asperger's syndrome: causes, symptoms and treatment

Asperger's syndrome: causes, symptoms and treatment

November 13, 2022

Do you know Sheldon Cooper from the TV series Big Bang Theory? Currently, many more people know what Asperger syndrome is and what difficulties this problem entails thanks to this character in the series.

The next day February 18 is celebrated the international day of Asperger syndrome, a disorder of frequent development in the population (present in 3-7 of every 1,000 births) that entails difficulties in the emotional, social and behavioral area.

What is Asperger syndrome?

Asperger's syndrome is a developmental disorder that is included in the category of autistic spectrum disorders. Although it has in common with the other forms of autism the difficulties for communication and interaction social and repetitive behavior, Asperger is considered a mild variant and has several peculiarities.

Far from what can be believed, people with Asperger they have a normal intelligence level . In fact, they can demonstrate surprising capabilities when it comes to those issues that are part of their restricted core of interests: flags, trains, numbers, etc.

However, they also have great difficulties in other areas, problems that are often present in each one of us but to a much more controllable and less threatening degree.

  • Related article: "Asperger's syndrome: 10 signs of this disorder"

Symptoms of the disorder

People with Asperger syndrome often feel emotionally overwhelmed and unable to identify their own feelings. This occurs due to a lack of awareness of one's emotions and feelings and a lack of resources and strategies to manage them properly: situations that they do not control, and that therefore stress them, will make them feel easily overwhelmed.

But not only do they have difficulty identifying and managing their own emotional state, but also They find it hard to "read" others and understand how they feel or what are your intentions. This means that sometimes they are described as insensitive or unconcerned, or that they do not know how to properly interpret ironies or double meanings, generating frequent misunderstandings.

Some of the compensatory strategies put in place by people with Asperger's syndrome to compensate for their lack of resources to self-regulate emotionally and recover the sense of security are the stereotyped behaviors and movements (swing, run, jump, "flutter") or the restriction of the interests in two or three themes.

Strategies to manage anxiety

Understanding these behaviors as strategies -though maladaptive- to manage the anxiety or discomfort they experience in certain situations, it is understandable that any change in the routine or unforeseen to destabilize a person with Asperger if the educational resources are not offered to handle it.

For example, people with Asperger's disease, and with autism in general, help them greatly anticipate possible changes in their plans. If a schedule has been previously established and it changes suddenly, they may feel intense anxiety.

These consequences are not surprising if we take into account that many people the fact that others take them out of their routine or the normal appearance of setbacks already creates a certain nervousness, although it is usually more manageable than for people with spectrum disorders. autistic.

  • Related article: "How to help a child with Asperger's syndrome?"

Asperger in childhood and adulthood

Understanding the main characteristics of the problem is not only important to facilitate its early detection and for the development and implementation of educational and support measures for the child; It also favors a greater awareness, promoting a more understanding attitude and greater respect towards people with Asperger by those around them.

It is common to focus on the manifestations of the disorder during childhood and adolescence, since these are the times when the first signs of alarm can be seen. However, if you do not work individually and collectively, it is easy that, when they reach the adult stage, they still have difficulties and even that these are exacerbated by increasing the social and labor demands of the environment.

At a social level, for example, people with Asperger syndrome often have little success in their relationships due to their resistance to advance to a level of greater intimacy in these. In the workplace, the emphasis that is currently being given to teamwork could be an impediment for them due to their difficulty to be considered part of a group and to understand the points of view of the other members.


Currently the causes of Asperger's Syndrome are, to a large extent, unknown. But nevertheless, it is believed that its origin is largely genetic , and therefore relatively independent of past experiences and the way in which it interacts with the environment (although these factors could trigger or aggravate the symptoms).

In addition, some research suggests that the root of the syndrome may be related to the origin of disorders such as depression or bipolarity.

Associations and groups of affected

As with other problems, the Asperger has various associations and groups of affected throughout the world.

These groups fulfill the fundamental mission of giving visibility to the disorder, but they also constitute enriching spaces where people with Asperger and their relatives share concerns, problems and solutions to the difficulties they encounter in their daily lives. The participation of the child or adult with Asperger in these communities is positive for several reasons.

First, because they receive information about their problem, which favors the understanding of their experience and reduces the levels of anguish . Secondly, because they are contexts in which, with individuals with similar difficulties, people with Asperger can feel specially understood and integrated; In other words, they stop being "the weirdo".

And third, because they constitute a natural environment in which the person can learn skills and strategies important for managing obstacles everyday: how to start a conversation, how to resolve conflicts, etc. The teaching of skills is especially effective when the association promotes the participation of the person in formative or leisure activities related to their interests, such as outings or camps.

  • Related article: "The 14 main social skills to succeed in life"

Is Asperger’s Syndrome Autism? (November 2022).

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