Asperger’s syndrome is one of the many concerning health conditions that may affect children. As a responsible parent, it is best to stay updated about various health conditions that may strike your little bundle of joy at some point of time. Keep reading to know more about asperger syndrome symptoms in teenagers.
What Is Asperger’s Syndrome?
Simply put, Asperger’s syndrome is a neurobiological disorder that is known to cause developmental disabilities in children. The symptoms associated with this condition vary in degrees of severity, and generally, children affected by this disorder share symptoms with those affected by autism.
The symptoms associated with this condition usually wane and wax over time, however, individuals affected by this disorder are fully capable of functioning well in everyday life. (1)
Signs & Symptoms Of Aspergers In Teens:
There are several ways to know if your teen is affected by Asperger’s syndrome. Most children affected by this disorder tend to show symptoms as early as when they are at preschool. Some common asperger symptoms in teens include:
- Not able to pick up social cues such as understanding body language, starting and maintaining a conversation, talking etc.
- Having a formal style of speaking (using advanced words such as ‘beckon’ instead of ‘call’).
- Avoiding eye contact or sometimes staring at other.
- Talking a lot, usually when it comes to their favourite subject.
- Having a one-sided conversation.
- Having verbalized internal thoughts.
- Demonstrating unusual and strange facial expressions and postures.
- Disliking changes in routine.
- Unable to understand sarcastic comments.
- Demonstrating delay in motor development (learning to use the fork and spoon and other everyday items late).
- Having higher sensitivity to loud noises, light, strong textures and tastes.
- Being preoccupied with a few interests.
- Having interests in topics such as dinosaurs, names of stars, snakes, astronomy, designing houses and drawing highly detailed scenes.
- Being shy or intimidated while approaching friends and having difficulties in communication.
- Being immature for their age and having a very trusting attitude, which may make them victims to bullying and teasing.
- Having depression or anxiety in certain cases.
It is important to note that just having one or two of the above symptoms doesn’t necessarily imply that your child is affected by Asperger’s syndrome. Most children affected tend to have a combination of these symptoms and commonly show trouble in social situations. (2)
Treatments For Asperger Syndrome In Teenagers:
Treating a teen affected by Asperger’s syndrome usually needs a multi-disciplinary approach. There are no medications as such which can help tackle Asperger’s syndrome- however, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors can work for other psychiatric symptoms that are usually observed in those affected by Asperger’s syndrome, particularly depression and anxiety.
Sometimes, medications may be needed to deal with patients that have significant hyperactivity or distraction. Apart from this, several interventions can be effective in helping deal with asperger syndrome in teenagerse.
- Speech and language therapy to help enhance the use of language, which could be particularly useful in social settings.
- Efforts to reduce overstimulation.
- Life skills training.
- Training programs for social skills including the use of gestures and facial expressions to converse.
- Educational support to enhance organizational skills and assist with subtlety of use of language and reading.
- Support for functional skills in an environment that is structured and predictable. (3)
Parents having a teen affected by Asperger’s syndrome need to be patient and support their child to get through it. Setting modest goals, introducing soothing activities and having adequate family time can go a long way in helping teens affected by this disorder perform better. (4)
We hope this article helped you understand a bit more about Asperger’s syndrome in teens and the different ways to tackle it.