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Asperger’s Syndrome used to have a classification and diagnosis of its own. But in recent years it has been determined that it actually belongs under the classification of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Asperger’s syndrome is a very complex disorder and every individual who has it may be very different from another. I want to give you a general idea about children and Asperger’s Syndrome and recommend a communication device to help with your child’s ability to communicate with others and improve his or her socialization skills.
Please note that this article is in no way to be taken as medical advice nor for diagnosing purposes. If you suspect your child may have Asperger’s Syndrome, take him or her to your doctor for evaluation and further direction.
A type of autism
Asperger’s syndrome has been studied by mental health experts and they have discovered that this disorder actually shares a lot of the same characteristics of autism spectrum disorder. So, they have classified it under autism as autism is made up of a group of mental health issues.
Some common symptoms of Asperger’s
The symptoms of this syndrome can start early in life, later childhood or early adulthood. For the people who are not diagnosed until later childhood or early adulthood, they are usually high-functioning and have very high IQ’s.
The more severe forms of Asperger’s are neurodevelopmental (impairments in the nervous system functioning that affect behavior, cognition, or motor skills) disorders and are usually present from infancy to early childhood. These children do not reach milestones as other children do because of an impairment in their cognitive skills (thinking, reasoning, or remembering), behavior and motor skills.
One of the most common signals seen is a child will not make eye contact. He or she will not show emotions and will speak in a monotone type of voice.
The children with this disorder can be very repetitive either in their speech or in their actions. They will do something over and over again. Also, this child will speak about 1 particular item and talk over and over again about it.
A child with Asperger’s will most likely have problems with socializing and with communication.
How is it diagnosed?
Diagnosis of Asperger’s Syndrome can be tricky as this disorder is very complicated and has many variables. There is no standardized test for this and many times a child will go undiagnosed until adulthood. This is because there are several screening devices in current use, each with different criteria, the same child could receive different diagnoses, depending on the tool the doctor selects.
If your child is suspected to have Asperger’s, your doctor will call in a mental health specialist team such as a psychologist, pediatric neurologist, developmental pediatrician and a psychiatrist. Because diagnosis is very complicated, having these health care professionals working together as a team is the best course of action to take.
How do we help a child with social and speech skills?
Every child who has Asperger’s is unique and treatment of each child will vary. For the most part, each one will need help with social skills and communication skills. Let’s take a look at help for social skills first and then communication assistance.
Social skills are usually taught by a therapist either one-on-one, in a group or both. Children will learn how to interact with others and express themselves appropriately. The child will learn best by observing and copying good behavior from you the parent and others in their circle of trust.
The therapist will involve the parents to teach them what social skills were taught to their child so they can continue the methods at home. In addition, many families of children with Asperger’s will see a counselor to help them deal with the challenges of living with someone with Asperger’s.
Speech-language therapy is another area of treatment. This will improve a child’s communication skills which in turn improves social skills. Speech therapy for the child with Asperger’s will be different from speech therapy for others. This is because a child with this syndrome has already developed speech, and it is different. So the speech therapy for children affected with Asperger’s will focus more on communication.
Many speech therapists will use what we call an AAC (augmentative and alternative communication) device to help a child with Asperger’s communicate. These devices use a combination of pictures, written words, and spoken language. The therapist will show the parent how to use these devices as well as the child.
Not being able to communicate would cause anyone to become stressed and upset. Now think of a child with Asperger’s if he or she cannot communicate what they feel or need or want. It is no wonder that that child would begin to “act out” and be really upset. This is where the AAC device can completely change this scenario.
I have another article about communication boards for children. If you would like to see another device, click this link for “communication board for children.”
The AbleNet SuperTalker FT Progressive Communicator is an AAC and is a great communicative assistive device. This SuperTalker is customizable to meet your child’s needs. It has a surface that is very sensitive to touch and will detect the lightest of touches.
There are eight recording levels that give you the ability to record up to 64 unique messages. The SuperTalker is switch accessible which means you can connect one switch to each message location for direct message playback or use one switch to step through each message location in sequence.
The AbleNet SuperTalker FT Progressive Communicator comes with a free app:
AbleNet Symbol Overlay Maker (app requires an iPad with iPad OS 13 or newer).
You can quickly and easily create printable picture symbol overlays for your device with the free app which allows you to really customize this device.
The SuperTalker FT requires 4 AA batteries (not included).
I have worked with many children who had autism and Asperger’s and I would say these kids just need all your love and attention and don’t forget patience! You will see how far lots of love and patience will take you both!
I truly hope you found this information of great help and that you take advantage of this great communication device for your child. It will make a world of difference in both your lives!
Questions or comments?
Please leave me your questions or comments in the comment section below and I will get back to you as soon as I can!
Always yours looking for the best for our babes,