Each child with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) experiences the disorder in a unique way. Asperger’s syndrome is one of the neurodevelopmental disorders that falls on the spectrum. If your child is diagnosed with Asperger’s or another autism spectrum disorder, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the issues involved. Become an informed advocate for your child by learning more about Asperger’s with the following overview:
While not every child will experience the same signs and symptoms of Asperger’s, there are a few commonalities. Primarily, Asperger’s affects a child’s behavior, communication, and social skills. Unlike classic autism, Asperger’s does not cause language delays . However, children can experience other types of communication deficits, such as pragmatic language difficulties. Pragmatic language skills refer to the use of language in a social way. For example, a child might fail to make eye contact during conversation, have trouble maintaining the natural flow of conversation, or fail to interpret and use gestures and body language. Although young children with Asperger’s typically wish to interact with their peers (unlike those with classic autism), they have trouble doing so and may be inappropriate which can isolate and stigmatize them.
As with any neurodevelopmental disorder, it’s important to have a child with suspected Asperger’s evaluated as early as possible so intervention and therapy can begin. There are no medical tests available to diagnose Asperger’s; however, a doctor may perform certain tests to rule out the possibility of underlying medical conditions that mimic the appearance of Asperger’s. An autism expert can also assess the child’s developmental history and perform close observations. Although a diagnosis is not needed to initiate treatment, it is often necessary to obtain insurance coverage.
Children who are diagnosed with Asperger’s and other autism spectrum disorders can benefit from applied behavior analysis (ABA), which is a set of techniques that teach children important skills, such as social interactions. ABA involves the use of positive reinforcement to encourage desirable behaviors while reducing undesirable ones.
The specialists at The Behavior Exchange are highly skilled in the use of ABA techniques to help children with autism spectrum disorders. Please call our Dallas location today at (888) 716-8084 to schedule your initial consultation. You could also visit us on the Web to learn more about us.
Written By Tammy Cline-Soza, MS, BCBA