Asperger’s Syndrome / Disorder

Asperger syndrome (AS), also known as Asperger’s, is a developmental disorder characterized by significant difficulties in social interaction and nonverbal communication, along with restricted and repetitive patterns of behavior and interests.

What Is Asperger Syndrome?

Asperger syndrome is one of several previously separate subtypes of autism that were folded into the single diagnosis autism spectrum disorder (ASD) with the publication of the DSM-5 diagnostic manual in 2013.

Asperger syndrome was generally considered to be on the “high functioning” end of the spectrum. Affected children and adults have difficulty with social interactions and exhibit a restricted range of interests and/or repetitive behaviors. Motor development may be delayed, leading to clumsiness or uncoordinated motor movements. Compared with those affected by other forms of ASD, however, those with Asperger syndrome do not have significant delays or difficulties in language or cognitive development. Some even demonstrate precocious vocabulary – often in a highly specialized field of interest.

The following behaviors are often associated with Asperger syndrome. However, they are seldom all present in any one individual and vary widely in degree:

• limited or inappropriate social interactions
• “robotic” or repetitive speech
• challenges with nonverbal communication (gestures, facial expression, etc.) coupled with average to above average verbal skills
• tendency to discuss self rather than others
• inability to understand social/emotional issues or nonliteral phrases
• lack of eye contact or reciprocal conversation
• obsession with specific, often unusual, topics
• one-sided conversations
• awkward movements and/or mannerisms

 

 

What are the symptoms of Asperger’s in adults?

Asperger syndrome was generally considered to be on the “high functioning” end of the spectrum. Affected children and adults have difficulty with social interactions and exhibit a restricted range of interests and/or repetitive behaviors

 

 

Benefits of Massage Therapy Asperger’s Syndrome / Disorder

In children with autism spectrum disorders, massage research noted fewer displays of self-stimulating behaviors, better sleep patterns, improved receptivity to touch, and less aggressive behavior. As a practitioner, that helps me understand that massage can help a child become more self aware and relaxed.

How does massage therapy help with sensory issues, and what are some positive results?

A child who displays aversion to touch can be taught how to understand touch—essentially learning to differentiate between normal and painful sensations. I have found that a systematic approach to massage is very important for children with autism spectrum disorders. When they learn what to expect, they are better able to relax and receive massage. In practice the idea that massage helps people feel better is pretty consistent. General research on massage has consistently found that massage can help reduce stress and anxiety. The body of research on massage has included a variety of massage styles and techniques, but the findings are consistent. In children with autism spectrum disorders, massage research noted fewer displays of self-stimulating behaviors, better sleep patterns, improved receptivity to touch, and less aggressive behavior. As a practitioner, that helps me understand that massage can help a child become more self aware and relaxed.

It has been speculated that Isaac Newton had what is now considered Asperger syndrome.

Albert Einstein and Isaac Newton may have had Asperger syndrome, but a definitive diagnosis is impossible as both scientists died before this condition came to be known. Albert Einstein’s brain has been preserved. As physical features of the brain connected with autism become better known it may become possible to tell whether Einstein has those features.

Further Reading

Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork for Autism Spectrum Disorders – An Interview with Dr. Virginia Cowen

Nurturing Touch

Kids with autism see big benefits from massage, study says

Autism Speaks

Asperger’s Syndrome

 

 

 

 

*Disclaimer: This information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting with a qualified healthcare provider.
Please consult your healthcare provider with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your condition.
The information provided is for educational purposes only and is not intended as diagnosis, treatment, or prescription of any kind. The decision to use, or not to use, any information is the sole responsibility of the reader. All trademarks, registered trademarks, brand names, registered brand names, logos, and company logos referenced in this post are the property of their owners.

 

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