Corinne and Nik
People from all over the world are suffering from various types of disorders and syndromes. Disorders such as Autism and Asperger syndrome are common among people. Defined by the Autism Society of America, Autism is a complex developmental disability that typically appears during the first three years of life and is the result of a neurological disorder that affects the normal functioning of the brain, impacting development in the areas of social interaction and communication skills. Similar to Autism, Asperger syndrome is an autistic disorder most notable for the often great discrepancy between the intellectual and social abilities of those who have it. Although Aspergers is a mild form of Autism, people with this disorder do suffer with communication and social skills.

Aspergers has been around for a very long time. An Austrian pediatrician named Hans Aspergers originally described Aspergers and discovered a pattern of behavior and abilities in four boys in which he called ‘autistic psychopathy.” This pattern consisted of little ability to form friendships, lack of empathy, and clumsy movements. It was thought that Hans himself had Aspergers syndrome because he lacked friends and was a lonely child growing up. It seems to be that the diagnosis of Aspergers is often given at a later date then most Autistic disorders. During World War II, Hans was a medical officer in Croatia. Towards the end of the war, Hans opened a school for children who had the pattern of behavior and abilities he noticed in the four boys earlier on. A tragedy occurred when a bomb had destroyed the school, resulting in Hans work to be lost.
The average age of a child getting diagnosed with Aspergers is at eight years old. There are no two children with Aspergers that are alike. Symptoms of this disorder can vary from being mild, to being very severe. Symptoms also vary depending on age. During childhood, social awkwardness is especially common. The child seems to lack empathy. Children with this disorder strongly dislike change in their routines and schedules. They tend to avoid eye contact and display unusual facial expressions or postures. Many children with Aspergers have a fascination with one particular subject, in which they have a vast amount of knowledge on. These children often are overly sensitive to loud noises and/or bright lights. Unlike Autism, a child with Aspergers normally is better with language.

Teens have very similar symptoms of Aspergers as of children with Aspergers. While communication skills are still lacking, teenagers begin to acquire more knowledge of social skills. Although teens get to the stage where they just want to “fit in” with their peers, it is still difficult because they feel so “different” than the others. Teens with Aspergers often get made fun of which leads to bullying. Severe bullying leads to one feeling depressed not only to “normal” teens, but teens who suffer from Aspergers. On a good note, many teens excel academically in the classroom, as well as citizens.
Unfortunately, Aspergers doesn’t just go away. It is a lifelong disorder. Although it steadies out as one gets older, adults still experience the symptoms of Aspergers. As time goes by, adults have a better understanding of their own strengths and weaknesses. They are more familiar with social skills. Even though they suffer with this disorder all their life, many adults get married and have children.
Symptoms in adulthood are hard to observe, but are largely the same in all cases. Social awkwardness can be observed as a symptom of Aspergers syndrome. For example, a quirky attitude present within such famous leaders such as Bill Gates, Al Gore, Woody Allen, and even Albert Einstein has shown to be a symptom of this syndrome. Furthermore, those suffering with the symptom often were bullied when younger, something many without this disorder also endured. Social abilities to understand facial expression, body language, and eye contact inhibit the emotional bonds formed in relations with peers, lacking friendship and other relations in life. Adults especially with this disorder show high levels of logic and intelligence with the only indication of impairment in the social skills department.
The causes of Asperger’s Syndrome are numerous, yet have no scientific backing or evidence. At one point, the myth around the cause of this syndrome was that a cold when still a baby produced a reduction in the mental capability in the mind of the child and therefore created Asperger’s Syndrome. Obviously, through years of research, science has proven that is not the case, though they have still not produced a cause. Other prospective causes genetic factors and abnormal changes in the amniotic cells. With Asperger’s Syndrome being much like a mild form of autism, a definite cause is unknown yet scientists are attempting to break the code persistently.

Treatments for Asperger’s syndrome vary along with the patient, meaning that no everyone with the syndrome is given the same treatment. For adolescents, treatment varies by IQ. Those with higher IQ’s work to improve social functions. Those with lower IQ’s are treated as if they have autism. No medicine is available for the treatment of Asperger’s Syndrome, but for those who experience the symptoms similar to those of autism, medication is available. For example, medication for ADHD and other symptoms is available to ease the signs of the disorder. Other treatments include cognitive behavior therapy to reduce the stress of those with Asperger’s Syndrome. Though these seem like effective tools to treat this syndrome, Asperger’s Syndrome has no cure.