Your Child Is Smarter Than Other Children But Has Problems With His Social Skills? Must Be Asperger's
You, as a new mother, usually take some time out (almost on a daily basis) from your day’s work to spend some time with your few months’ old new-born. You want to cuddle her, talk to her and play with her. At times, you might even bring one or two of the members in your family to keep her engaged, when you’re not around her. Unfortunately, you hear your relatives telling you that, your baby doesn’t make eye contact and appears to behave differently.
Initially it was hard for you to believe it, but when you try and observe your baby more closely, you realise the truth. You discuss these issues with your partner and visit the doctor. On sharing the problems of your baby girl with the doctor, he advises you to go to a child psychologist. On meeting the child psychologist, you find out that your little princess has Asperger’s Syndrome.
Asperger’s Syndrome? What’s That Supposed To Be?
Asperger’s Syndrome is basically, a group of developmental disorders that affects the communicative and social skills in a child1. These children may not have speech delays, but they definitively might have unusual speech patterns. They might also be smarter and more intelligent than the other children in the block, but they might face problem in understanding gestures like humour or sarcasm or any other social cue for that matter.
The medical fraternity, earlier considered Asperger’s to be an absolutely separate kind of developmental or neurological disorder. However, a book on The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), in 2013 changed the whole idea, and now, Asperger’s is considered to be a part of autism spectrum disorder (ASD).
How is Asperger’s Different From Autism?
Many children with Asperger’s Syndrome turn out to be obsessed about anything in particular – it might be an object (a ball or a TV programme) or a topic or a person. They have delayed motor skills and appear to be uncoordinated and clumsy than their peers. They have a habit of doing or saying something repetitively, and when it comes to interaction with anyone, their behaviour seems to be inappropriate. Adding to these problems, a child with Asperger’s finds herself to be very depressed, moody, anxious to the core, impulsive (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, in other words) and has various other mental health disorders.
Although the symptoms of Asperger’s are almost similar to Autism, and doctors call this “high-functioning” type of autism spectrum disorder (ASD), but these signs appear to be mild or less intense as compared to a child who might be suffering from Autism.
How Common is Asperger’s Syndrome?
And, research from Centres for Disease and Control Prevention (CDC) according to 2014 claims that 1 out of every 59 children, across the world seem to have been suffering from autism spectrum disorder. Asperger’s being similar to Autism, very little is known about the prevalence of it in babies and toddlers. But, it has been estimated that, two and a half children out of every 1000 are Asperger’s, depending upon the number that already autistic. Studies have further claimed that, boys are 3 to 4 times more likely to be diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome than girls. In fact, an affirmative diagnosis of Asperger’s Syndrome might be made in babies as young as 18 months and in children as old as seven years.
What Causes Asperger’s Syndrome?
That means, certain factors during pregnancy (like chromosomal abnormalities during the foetal formation or the intake of a few medicines for a healthy pregnancy), faulty genes running in the family, having been born to older parents and multiple environmental factors are thought to have played an important role in giving rise to Asperger’s Syndrome in babies and toddlers.
What Are the Ways of Treating Asperger’s Syndrome?
Therefore, the treatment of Asperger’s Syndrome depends upon the severity of it and age of the child. Some children might require life-long care, other may learn live with it with very little support. But, as far as the treatment is concerned, no specific cure has been found for Asperger’s till date. However, with early intervention and a combination therapies including behavioural, speech and language therapy along with mental health counselling, the outlook of these children since their babyish stage can be significantly improved.
Moreover, being a milder form of Autism, the good news is that with the introduction of umbilical cord blood stem cell therapy, has shown promising results in these children. In fact, cord blood stem cells are able to develop into other brain cells to replace the dead cells and revive the damaged tissues, while treating autism.
Overall, Asperger’s Syndrome is a neurobiological disease. And being parents to Asperger’s symptomatic baby, you might have several questions in mind. However, your parenting style will not create any difference. But, advancement in therapy, as mentioned here, might possibly help the child and lead her to healthy life.