How do you know if your child has Asperger? - East Valley Tribune: Ahwatukee Foothills

How do you know if your child has Asperger?

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Posted: Thursday, May 12, 2011 4:00 pm | Updated: 3:36 pm, Sat Dec 22, 2012.

Many parents want to know if their child has Asperger syndrome?

Asperger syndrome is on the autism spectrum that is characterized by significant difficulties in social interaction, speech delays and along with restricted and repetitive patterns of behavior and interests.

You will see some of the following symptoms if your child has Asperger syndrome:

• Lack of social skills such as being able to read others' body language, or hard time interacting with kids their own age.

• Dislike any changes in routines.

• Appear to lack empathy or facial expression.

• Lack of eye contact or stare at others.

• Have unusual facial expressions or postures.

• Be preoccupied with only one or few interests, which he or she may be very knowledgeable about. Many children with Asperger's syndrome are overly interested in parts of a whole or in unusual activities, such as designing houses, drawing highly detailed scenes or studying astronomy. They may show interest in animals such as snakes or dinosaurs, etc.

• Talk a lot, usually about a favorite subject. One-sided conversations are common.

• Have heightened sensitivity and become over-stimulated by loud noises, lights, or strong tastes or textures.

• Interruption with sleep patterns at night.

These are only some of the symptoms that a child may have if he/she has Asperger syndrome and the functionality can be on a low to high spectrum. Although there is no cure for Asperger syndrome, you can help with his/her temperament and work on the skills that may need developing.

The core of management to Asperger syndrome is behavioral therapy, focusing on specific deficits to address poor communication skills, obsessive or repetitive routines.

Most children improve as they mature to adulthood, but social and communication difficulties may persist.

Behavior management is a key component in developing behavior growth and working on certain skills that may not come easy to them.

• Teresa Welsh is the behavior coach to Independence Behavioral Coaching LLC, formed to help parents and teachers manage difficult behaviors in children. Reach her at (602) 531-0230 or twelsh@behavecoach.com.

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