Asperger s Disorder Newsletter September by benbenzhou


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									 1 HEALTH IN OUR HANDS!               December 2008/ January 2009

          The prevalence of Asperger’s
and other Autistic spectrum disorders
                                                    Skin Cancer                        restricted and unusual patterns of
                                                                                       interest and behavior. Asperger's
has drastically incrased over the past
few years. Research on the prevalence
                                                     Disorder                          Syndrome is more common in boys
                                                                                       than in girls. It is not usually recognized
of this disorder has indicated that the                                                before the age or three or even later.
number of individuals affected is                   Aspergers and other Autistc       Asperger himself defined the syndrome
approximately within the range of 1 in               Spectrum Disorders are not        using the categories below.
200 or 250 individuals.                              related to poor parenting
                                                    PDD are felt to be                Speech: Children with Asperger's
                                                     multifactorial in origin          Syndrome generally talk at the age
  Pervasive Development                             PDD are not mental illnesses      expected of typical children. Grammar
     Disorders (PDD)                                                                   is acquired at a typical age or a bit later;
          Asperger’s disorder falls under
the umbrella of Pervasive Development
                                                 What is Asperger’s                    however there may be a tendency to use
                                                                                       "you" or "he/she" instead of "I". In
Disorders (PDD). The American                       Disorder?                          general the form of language is typical
Psychiatric Association: Diagnostic and               Asperger’s Disorder, also        but the content is not. Children may talk
Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders,     known as Asperger Syndrome, is             at length about a favorite subject or
Fourth Edition (DSM-IV), groups             recognized as a neurobiological            repeat a word or phrase over and over
several specific diagnosis under the        disorder. The disorder is named for the    again.
umbrella term PDD due to their              Viennese physician, Hans Asperger.         Non-verbal communication: People
common qualitative impairments in the       Asperger wrote a paper in 1944             with Asperger's Syndrome may have
areas of social interaction,                describing a group of young boys who       few facial expressions apart from anger
communication, and range of activities      had normal intelligence and language       or misery. Their voice may be
and interests. PDD, also called Autistic    development, but demonstrated serious      monotone and droning or exaggerated.
Spectrum Disorders, include: Autistic       social, behavioral and communication       Comprehension of the facial
Disorder, Asperger’s Disorder, Rett’s       impairments. This paper was not            expressions or others is also poor. As
Disorder, Childhood Disintegrative          translated and published until the         well, gestures may be clumsy and
Disorder, and Pervasive Developmental       1980’s and was not included in the         exaggerated.
Disorder-Not Otherwise Specified            DSM-IV until 1994. Although this           Social Interaction: The rules
(PDD-NOS). 1                                disability has been indentified fairly     governing social interaction often pose
                                            recently, awareness is steadily            a mystery to someone with Asperger's
 What causes Pervasive                      increasing. Parents, professionals and     Syndrome. The impairment of two-way
                                            individuals dealing with this disability   interaction is perhaps the most obvious
Developmental Disorders?                    at home, work, and in the public are       characteristic of the person with the
         Autism and other PDD tend to       becoming more aware of the needs and       syndrome.
occur more frequently among                 concerns associated with Aspergers.        Repetitive Activities and Resistance
individuals who have certain medical                                                   to Change: Children with Asperger's
conditions including Fragile X
syndrome, tuberous sclerosis,
                                                    Characteristics of                 Syndrome may spin and watch spinning
                                                                                       objects for long periods or time. They
congenital rubella syndrome, and                       Aspergers                       often are intensely attached to particular
untreated phenylketonuria (PKU)                      Asperger’s disorder is a
      There is no single known             developmental disorder that is
                                                                                       Motor Coordination: Gross motor
         cause                              characterized by a severe impairment in
                                                                                       movements are usually clumsy and
                                            the areas of social interaction and
 2 HEALTH IN OUR HANDS!                 December 2008/ January 2009

uncoordinated. About 90% are poor at                 No clinically significant delay               Only use prompts that can be
sports. Some may have difficulty                      in cognitive development or                    easily faded.
writing and drawing. Asperger also                    adaptive skills (outside social
mentioned stereotypic movements of                    challenges)                                   Teach a task, activity, or skill as a
body and limbs as characteristic.                                                                    whole and in the natural
Skills and Interests: Most people                                                                    environment.
with Asperger's Syndrome have
                                             It is important to identify and                        To facilitate social play, identify
excellent rote memory and become
                                             understand a child’s learning style.                    simple, age appropriate activities
intensely interested in one or two                                                                   that are of high interest to peers.
                                             Most children with this disorder have
subjects (sometimes to the exclusion of
                                             difficulty assimulating, modifying, and
other topics).
                                             intergrating old information with new                  Choose activities that require
Experiences at School: The                                                                           simple social interactions.
impairment of social interaction and
communication, in particular, work                   Use simple language                           Be creative.
against the child with Asperger's                     (vocabulary and structure) that
Syndrome. The children are often                      is familiar to the individual.                Be flexible.
targets of teasing and bullying at
school. Many will be acutely aware that              Allow for processing time needed              Maintain a sense of compassion
they are different, and can become                    by the student (this can often be              and a sense of humor.
over-sensitive to criticism, especially as            as much as 30 seconds!)
                                                                                            **Sources for this newsletter include:
teens.2                                                                                         1. Autism and Related Disorders
                                                     Use and teach conventional
                                                      gestures or other communication               Handbook (Spring 2002)
             Diagnosis                                systems if necessary.                     2. Online Aspergers Syndrome
          Currently, no medical tests can                                                           Information and Support
be done to indicate the presence of                  Do not always require eye                     (OASIS)
these disorders. When an individual is                contact.                                  3. Autism and PDD Spectrum
suspected of having a Pervasive                                                                     Disorders. Notes from class by
                                                     Use concrete and visual cues                  Lisa Kenyon, MHS, PT, PCS.
Developmental Disorder, a review of
                                                      whenever possible.
the person’s developmental history in
areas such as speech, communication,                                                                     Other News
                                                     Always ask, “What could she be
social and play skills is critical as part            saying with this behavior?”
                                                                                            **If you have any suggestions for
of an evaluation. Ideally, an                                                               newsletter topics, please contact Dean
interdisciplinary team of professionals              Be sure activities have clear         Susan Hanrahan at
including, but not limited to, a                      beginnings and endings.     
psychologist, an educator, a speech                                                                     **************
language pathologist, an audiologist,                Focus on naturally occurring cues        The Arkansas State University
and in some cases a physician, should                 to facilitate generalization.         Employee Wellness Newsletter is
evaluate the person and work together                                                       published monthly during the academic
to determine an appropriate diagnosis.               Identify activities that give the     year by the College of Nursing and
                                                      individual opportunities to use       Health Professions. Health questions
                                                      her/his                               can be addressed to Dean Susan
Overview of the DSM-IV Diagnostic
Criteria                                                                                    Hanrahan, Ph.D., ext. 3112 or
                                                     interests and highest level skills.
     Impairment in social                                                         Produced by
                                                                                            Anne Katherine Campbell, graduate
         interaction                                 Avoid “changing the rules”
     Restricted, repetitive and                      whenever possible.                    student in the College of Nursing and
         stereotyped patterns of                                                            Health Professions, Physical Therapy
         behavior, interests and                     Make rules as clear, specific and     Program.
         activities                                   concrete as possible.
     Clinically significant
         impairment in social,                       Establish predictable routines to             Happy Holidays!
         occupational or other areas of               assist in making daily activities
     No clinically significant                      Provide definite visual structure
         general delay in language                    and a visual schedule throughout
         (single words by two and                     the day and during each activity.
         phrases by three)
3 HEALTH IN OUR HANDS!   December 2008/ January 2009

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