Many times i have been asked “what’s so different about Asperger’s Disorder?” It took me at least a year to fully understand this disorder enough to be able to answer that question without sounding stupid.
In the last few years there has been a fast uprising in Asperger’s Disorder cases in the united states. Many children that used to be listed as ED, or Emotionally Disabled have now become Asperger’s Disorder. I myself as a child was diagnosed as Emotionally Disabled. I had trouble learning to control how i felt and would often cry for absolutely no reason.
As a child i was extremely smart when it came to certain areas, similar to Austic spectrum disorder children i had an affinity for a specific subject and was above most of my peers in this area. What was my area? Music. I taught myself to play every instrument in the high school band by ear. You name it, i can play it. Trumpet, Coronet, Bflat clarinet, C clarinet, bassoon, picallo, flute, Alto saxaphone, Saprano sax, Drums, the list goes on and on. I think the only thing i cannot play is the piano because every piano sounds so different depending on how old or new they are. I can play piano don’t get me wrong but i’m not as quick to pick up on the subtle differences in the tones.
I guess i got the short end of the stick, looking back i ask “why couldn’t i have had an affinity for math? Sheesh i suck at math!!”. lol..
My son on the other hand is further along than just Aspgerger’s Disorder, he is in the process of being rediagnosed. That is the trick with the Autistic spectrum, it’s forever changing. Some children start out with one diagnosis but as they miss milestones or their personality doesn’t adapt to their age as they grow it becomes obvious that maybe they are a little further down the spectrum. The social interaction is the biggest dead giveaway. Not all children with forms of autism will be non verbal, some will be very verbal but speak in their own special language. Autistic children are only 2/3 of their actual age, so while they grow it becomes easier to change the diagnosis. If your 5 year old acts more like your three year old that is something that doesn’t go unnoticed.
Asperger’s is different in the way the symptoms appear and the symptoms themselves. You will never learn all there is to learn about Asperger’s from a book. Each child is unique in their symptoms and triggers of meltdowns. The best way to learn more about it would be spend some time with a small group of children that are on the spectrum.
Some of the common signs are:
Flapping of the arms and/or hands.
Odd body movements
Repetition ( movements, speech, actions)
Food jags and aversions. (Autistic spectrum children are very sensitive to the textures of things, be it food, clothings, ect.)
Sensitivity to sound or light.
Lining up objects
Obsessive behavior with things such as numbers, certain toys, ect.
The biggest problem with Asperger’s Disorder children is TRANSITION!!
They do not transition. You and i can just get up and go but they cannot. Their day’s must be planned for them and in most cases visually charted for them to see. They do not like to stray from their own set routines. Any change in the above triggers can cause what are called “meltdowns”.. Extreme expression of violence, repetitive behavior, crying, these children can be dangerous without realizing they are. It is not their fault, they become extremely impulsive and have no control or understanding of right and wrong.
If you know a child with an Autistic Spectrum disorder please spend a little extra time learning their routing. These children are not “weird”, They are just people that see the world differently than us. Put yourself in their shoes and look through their eyes at something, you might be surprised at what you see.
In closing, some do theorize these children understand things better than we do which is a complete mental overload for them. The complexity of the world is simple to them, but the simple tasks just go right over their heads. That is theory, nothing to this point has ever really been proven about these disorders. But i have to say the world through the eyes of autism is beautiful, but harsh at the same time..
Try and understand the parent and PLEASE do not give parenting advice.. Unless you have a child with autism, you don’t know what it’s like.. Millions of parents agree lol..