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Re: Asperger's disorder Elizabeth

Posted by IsoM on December 17, 2001, at 1:27:43

In reply to Asperger's disorder, posted by Elizabeth on December 16, 2001, at 23:15:18

hi Elizabeth. My 26 year old son has Asperger syndrome - I can speak from personal experience about it. He has definitely been different from my other two sons & very difficult to manage when he was young. Doctors & psychologists told me I was imagining his behaviour & exaggerating it too.

When he was 22, I read an article in the Scientific American on Asperger by Uta Frith (one of the best authorities on it) & I recognised what he had. We made an appointment with a psychologist who tests & deals with autism & Asperger. The testing was pretty expensive but I'm glad we did it. My son was very glad too. As he said "it helps to put a name on it & to know it's not my fault I act different."

Asperger people tend to have a slightly above to way over genius level. The psych who did the testing told us that my son had an IQ of 1:10,000 people - way over genius level. Because he's so bright, he's learned how to act around people - more by rote than just acting naturally.

If you have Asperger, even mild, you'll know by a few things.
When you're around others, even one or two, you can't "read" their moods or expressions well. You're not sure of all the body language cues unless you're really trying. What comes natural to most without even thinking about it, isn't even noticed by people with Asperger.

You'll feel emotionally remote from others, not being able to really share in their feelings or moods. My son has terrible trouble interpreting small facial gestures. If a person was to grimace or frown or raise an eyebrow in disbelief, he doesn't even see these things. People with Asperger can have a sense of humour & wit but not about people's nature - they just don't "get it". When they find something funny, they'll be amused & smile but rarely laugh - their facial "language" is stiff & expresses little, like a poker face almost.

You may have some Asperger traits but as my son, the psychologist, & I all said, having some of those traits are good. It tends to make a person more logical & open, as they don't play mental games with other people. they simply can't.

Because you converse so easily here in the forum, I highly doubt you have the syndrome, maybe just some of the traits. The psychologist said my son's Asperger is either fairly mild or he's trained himself so well not to show it. But it would be impossible for him to ever go on a forum & "converse" with others. Even dealing with people on the phone is extremely difficult for him.

The brain is hard-wired in a person with Asperger, there's no treatment for it, only treatment for some of the problems that come with it such as depression, anxiety, & panic disorders. These people are so bright that they're fully aware they're different & don't fit in easily. It can often lead to depression & panic in groups where they literally don't know a lot of what's going on, being unable to socially "read" what people mean.

Sorry for such a long post, but it's not easy to put the symptoms in a nutshell.

> Hi folks. Does anyone here know anything about Asperger's? I've read about it, and it's been suggested that I may have a "mild" form of it, but I'm sort of confused as to what it means! It's not a "popular" dx like ADD, especially in adults, so most pdocs don't bring it up, but I'm curious about it. What about treatments -- are there any?
> TIA,
> -elizabeth




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