What Will the Future Hold for Patients with Asperger’s Syndrome?
Although the early diagnosis often gives parents and caregivers a distinct advantage when seeking to begin treatment and adaptive modifications that make life in a society of individuals unaffected with the disease more possible, the long term outlook is not entirely understood.
Considering that attention paid to Asperger’s Syndrome in the United States did not come about until just a few short decades ago, long term case studies are virtually non-existent.
Conversely, for those adults who are extrapolated to be diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome, a complete and accurate case history is not usually available. There are, however, some theories that Dr. Asperger himself championed:
* Adults with Asperger’s Syndrome will not lose the symptoms of the disorders. They may be camouflaged through ageing and adaptive measures, but they are not lost.
* Employment and normal functioning in society is a distinct possibility, although not each and every job will be a good fit.
* There is a good chance that a person suffering with this disorder will be able to put to good use their special talent or skill that is amplified by Asperger’s Syndrome. This may come in handy in fields of mathematics and other sciences.
* There is a not completely understood causation when it comes to mental illness and Asperger’s Syndrome.
Behavioural scientists and physicians are uncertain if the presence of one causes the other or vice versa. In some cases there may be a direct relationship between the inability to function in everyday society and the accurately perceived inability to live up to standards considered normal by peers.
In extreme situations this had led to clinical appointments and forced commitments due to threats of suicides.
Even advocacy attempts are sharply divided when it comes to gauging the overall outcome for adults with the ailment.
Those who are determined to put a good spin on their advocacy will point to famous award winners and show that all can be overcome, while those with a vested stake in securing a more negative outcome will point to those committed for attempting suicide or living in relative isolation.
There is sadly no distinct outcome and at this point there is a lack of studies that permits for adequate generalization.
At this point parents and caregivers are urged not to look for long-term studies in an attempt to predict what the future may hold for children or adolescents, but instead to focus with single minded intent on adaptive measures that will help the individuals affected with Asperger’s Syndrome to master the here and now.
Although this flies in the face of many other advocacy movements, when it comes to those conditions related to the autism spectrum, the here and now quite frequently is as good as it will get.
If you believe that your child or adolescent is affected with this condition, it is crucial to have a diagnosis made as soon as possible, so that modifications in the surroundings and also education and vocational setup may be made quickly for best results.
When Asperger’s Syndrome Makes It Hard for a Child to Concentrate in Class
Some people believe that Asperger’s Syndrome is synonymous with a lower IQ or even some mental retardation.
Nothing could be further from the truth! The mislabeling arose when children with the condition failed to concentrate adequately in class.
Naturally they fell back in their studies and before long trailed behind their classmates in scores and grades.
Drawing the wrong conclusions, the assumption that Asperger’s Syndrome and a lower IQ are related was soon made.
Today it is a known fact that poor concentration skills are actually one of the symptoms of Asperger’s Syndrome, and thus teachers and also parents work side by side to enable the kids to do better in the classroom setting.
While it is not possible to hold the child’s hand the entire time and to encourage copious note taking and concentration, there are some things parents and teacher do to foster a better level of concentration and also attention paying.
* Structure classroom activities in such a way that clearly defined transitions alert the child with Asperger’s Syndrome that it is now time to concentrate on something new. Failure to do so may result in the child’s mind wandering and you might find her daydreaming or still thinking about the last activity that took place in the classroom.
* Assign time values to certain activities. An egg timer is a very useful gadget and it helps to limit the child’s inability to concentrate naturally. Just by setting the timer and having an audible signal of transitioning from reading to writing, math to social studies will help the child with Asperger’s Syndrome to shift gears. There may still be times when an incomplete assignment will have to be made up at a later time, but if you allocate time in the classroom for this purpose, you will soon find success.
* Review the child’s writing abilities. If the child spends a lot of time forming letters and numbers and lags behind classmates in this endeavour, it is only logical that concentration on other tasks will lack. It is a good idea to offer remedial writing skills at a later time in the day outside the regular class setting so that the child can speed up his writing.
* Children with Asperger’s Syndrome should be placed in the front of the classroom as opposed to the middle or the back. The less potential distraction from other classmates the child faces, the better he will do in the classroom setting. This also makes it easier concentrating on the facts at hand.
* Teachers and parents can work together on a non verbal clue that helps the child remember to concentrate.
Doing this preserves the child dignity in the classroom setting while at the same time getting the point across that he may be daydreaming or not doing that which needs to be done in step with other classmates. It is imperative that the child, teacher, and caregivers agree on this sign ahead of time, and that the child is frequently reminded of its existence.
Failure to do so may lead to embarrassing situations and some where the child may actually forget what the teacher’s clue is attempting to tell him.