Munson Health
 
Asperger Syndrome

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by Wood D

(Asperger Disorder)

 

Treatment

Medication

Drugs to help control symptoms may include:
  • Stimulants
  • Mood-altering drugs
  • Drugs to control seizures
  • Serotonin selective reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), such as citalopram, sertraline, and fluoxetine
  • Neuroleptics—such as risperidone

Alternative Therapies

The supplement melatonin may be helpful in improving sleep. But, talk to the doctor before giving herbs or supplements to your child.

Counseling

Behavior modification therapy and training can help children develop social skills. Learning how to make and keep friends is a challenge for children with Asperger syndrome.

Family Care

Caring for a child with Asperger syndrome can be stressful. Counselors help parents learn how to manage the child's behavior. Suggestions include:
  • Give warnings that an activity is about to end and provide ways to save the task for later. For instance, a favorite television show may be recorded for later viewing.
  • Try to include some flexibility into the day.
  • Set limits on the amount of time the child can spend on a single, obsessive activity.
  • Keep directions simple.
  • Use precise words.
  • Limit choices to two or three things.
  • Avoid using figures of speech.
  • Make lists.
  • Do not assume a child with this disorder understands what has been said simply because he can repeat it back to you.
  • At an early age, start explaining what is appropriate behavior for public and private places.
  • Do not make idle threats or promises.
  • Give praise for accomplishments, especially social skills.

Educational Needs

Children with Asperger syndrome usually have a normal IQ. However, they have special educational needs. They often can attend regular schools. They may need extra support in the classroom. Special attention should be paid to building social skills. Teachers should be informed of the child's needs. Children with Asperger syndrome may be teased or bullied because they seem different.
 

RESOURCES

Asperger Syndrome Education Network
http://www.aspennj.org

Online Asperger Syndrome Information and Support (OASIS)
http://www.aspergersyndrome.org

 

CANADIAN RESOURCES

Autism Society Canada
http://www.autismsocietycanada.ca

Health Canada
http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca

 

References


Asperger syndrome. Nemours KidsHealth.org website. Available at: http://kidshealth.org/parent/medical/brain/asperger.html. Updated January 2012. Accessed February 21, 2013.


Asperger syndrome fact sheet. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke website. Available at: http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/asperger/detail%5Fasperger.htm. Updated February 4, 2013. Accessed February 21, 2013.


Asperger's syndrome. Autism Society website. Available at: http://www.autism-society.org/about-autism/aspergers-syndrome. Accessed February 21, 2013.


Autism spectrum disorders. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated February 14, 2013. Accessed February 21, 2013.


Cashin A, Sci DA. Two terms-one meaning: the conundrum of contemporary nomenclature in autism. J Child Adolesc Psychiatr Nurs. 2006;19:137-144.


Filipek PA, et al. Practice parameter: screening and diagnosis of autism: report of the Quality Standards Subcommittee of the American Academy of Neurology and the Child Neurology Society. Neurology. 2000;55(4):468-479.


Marcus RN, Owen R, et al. Safety and tolerability of aripiprazole for irritability in pediatric patients with autistic disorder: a 52-week, open-label, multicenter study. J Clin Psychiatry. 2011;72(9):1270-1276.


Mattila ML, Hurtig T, et al. Comorbid psychiatric disorders associated with Asperger syndrome/high-functioning autism: a community- and clinic-based study. J Autism Dev Disord. 2010;40(9):1080-1093.


Nass R, Ross G. Developmental Disabilities. In: Bradley WG, ed. Neurology in Clinical Practice. 5th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Butterworth Heinemann Elsevier; 2008.


Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics.16th ed. Philadelphia, PA: WB Saunders Company; 2000.


Simonoff E. Genetic counseling in autism and pervasive developmental disorders. J Autism Dev Disord. 1998; 28: 447–456.


Venkat A, et al. Care of the patient with an autism spectrum disorder by the general physician. J Postgrad Med. 2012;88(1042):472-481.

 

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