Although Asperger’s is classified as an autism spectrum disorder, those who suffer from it experience difficulties in social interaction and do not have language or cognitive development disorders.
These children have a normal intelligence or sometimes even a high intelligence in certain aspects, but experience difficulties in adapting to social environments, as they do not engage well with others. It is difficult for these children to understand concepts beyond their literal meaning; they are not able to understand expressions with a double meaning, sarcasm or a play on words. Since they do not have the ability to make these kind of deductions, they also cannot understand non-verbal communication such as others’ gestures, expressions or emotions. They end up focusing on themselves and take distance from others.
Asperger syndrome is a disorder that has no cure, but can be treated and given support through specialists that see to its good progress. The sooner it is treated, the more effective the results. The best age to get a good diagnosis is before the age of seven.
Be aware of the warning signs
While it is difficult to identify Asperger’s in a child, in addition to the previously mentioned symptoms related to engagement and social environment, another characteristic is having an interest in specific areas or aspects of knowledge. The typical child with Asperger’s knows a lot about a certain subject matter, but does not share or show interest in other areas.
According to the Asperger’s Association of Spain, the key signs of to be aware of in a child with Asperger’s include: not babbling or making gestures during their first year of life, experiencing motor difficulties in the years that follow, using strange accents and gestures to express their ideas, being unable to make or keep friends at school, having very particular interests that are absorbing for them, and having difficulties with social interaction.