Is there a cure for Aspergers?
No. Aspergers (high-functioning autism) can currently not be cured and the condition is life-long. However, with correct treatment and therapy, many people with Aspergers can go on to lead normal lives and may even excel in certain areas of occupational functioning.
Can Aspergers be treated?
Yes, most definitely! However, because Aspergers is a relatively new diagnosis in the field of developmental psychology and psychiatry, many treatment approaches are still in the developmental stages and lots of work still needs to be done in this area. One thing has definitely been established - the sooner treatment begins - the better! This applies especially to remedial, educational and therapeutic intervention. While there is no specific treatment or 'cure' for Aspergers, there are many interventions which can significantly improve the functioning and quality of life of people and kids with Aspergers.
Social Skills Training—
This should be one of the most important components of a treatment program. Kids with Aspergers can be helped to learn social skills by an experienced psychologist. Body language and nonverbal communication can be taught in much the same way as one would teach a foreign language. Kids with Aspergers can learn to interpret nonverbal expressions of emotion and social interaction. This can assist them with social interaction and peer relationships and prevent the isolation and depression that often occurs as they enter adolescence. Teenagers can sometimes benefit from group therapy and can be taught how to use the teenage 'slang' and language forms of their peer groups.
Because kids with Aspergers may differ widely in terms of IQ and ability levels, schools should learn to individualize educational programs for these kids. Some of them may cope well in a mainstream class with additional support, while others may need to receive specialized education. In all cases, teachers should be aware of the special needs of Aspergers kids, who often need a great deal more support than first appears necessary.
Psychotherapeutic approaches which focus on supportive therapy, the teaching of social skills and concrete behavioral techniques are more effective than approaches which concentrate on emotional in depth therapy, which may be too uncomfortable and stressful for the person with Aspergers. Kids can benefit from play therapy and 'story' therapy aimed at raising awareness of nonverbal communication, development and teaching of empathy and learning of social skills.
Although there is no conclusive evidence, there are strong suggestions that changes in diet may significantly reduce the symptoms of some kids with Aspergers. Many moms and dads report that their kids become much more manageable when certain classes of food are eliminated from the diet. These include dairy products, sugar, gluten, wheat and some artificial colorants and preservatives like MSG and tartrazine. It is worthwhile consulting a trained nutritionalist to assist with dietary intervention and moms and dads should not simply eliminate important foods from their kid's diets without expert advice.
Psychopharmacological Interventions or Drug Therapy—
Many kids and adults with Aspergers do not need any form of medication, while others need to be treated symptomatically While there are no specific 'Aspergers' drugs, psychiatric drugs can be used to treat some of the problems which may manifest or be associated with Aspergers, such as ADD/HD, depression, mood swings, temper tantrums, irritability, aggression, obsessions and compulsive behaviors and anxiety. Many of the drugs used to treat the other Pervasive Developmental Disorders like Autism are also used to treat some of the associated symptoms of Aspergers. These include Ritalin, Adderall, Paxil, Strattera, Prozac, Risperal and others.
Like many psychiatric drugs, these often come with unwanted side effects and the risk of addiction and their benefits should always be weighed against the potential harm they could cause, particularly in the case of kids. Remember that you should always consult your doctor before altering or discontinuing any prescription medication. It is also important to realize that there are effective herbal and homeopathic alternatives to many of the prescription drugs. As with any medication, it is always best to consult your doctor before changing or discontinuing any prescribed medicines.
Herbal and homeopathic remedies can be viable alternatives to the synthetic drugs and may be just as effective, with far fewer risks and side effects. Depending on the symptoms that need treatment, Native Remedies recommends the following remedies to assist in an overall treatment plan. Herbal remedy for depression, mood swings, repetitive behaviors, irritability, and aggression. These may all be symptoms of serotonin imbalance and may show improvement with the use of our 100% herbal MindSoothe Jr. formula. The ingredients of MindSoothe Jr. have been clinically proven to assist in balancing serotonin levels and act as SSRI's (Selective Serotonin Re-uptake Inhibitors) in much the same way as the synthetic SSRI's do.
Herbal remedy for anxiety (calm and soothe)—
Tranquilizing drugs may be very effective in calming autistic kids and adults, who can easily become highly distressed and volatile over seemingly small changes in their environment. However, many tranquilizing drugs are also addictive and individuals may build up tolerance, resulting in the need for increasingly higher doses. PureCalm is a herbal formula which has been especially formulated to calm and soothe kids and adults without the risk of side effects and potential addiction. Available in easy to administer drop form, the dosage may be adjusted to suit kids or adults. PureCalm may be taken on its own when needed for quick symptomatic relief, and is also safe to use with most prescription and herbal medicines.
Herbal remedies for ADHD, hyperactivity and concentration—
Like the benzodiazepines and tranquilizing drugs, the psycho-stimulants come with documented side effects and potential for dependency. Yet many moms and dads find it very difficult to deal with Aspergers kids who also have symptoms of ADHD, hyperactivity and concentration problems. For the treatment of hyperactivity, restlessness and lack of concentration, Native Remedies has developed two highly effective remedies: Focus ADHD Formula is a 100% herbal remedy which has been especially formulated to treat the symptoms of ADHD in kids and adults alike. Focus comes in a tincture an is easily administered as drops in some juice or water. Native Remedies also offers BrightSpark, a safe and effective homeopathic formula. BrightSpark can be effectively used on its own or it can be combined with Focus ADHD Formula for severe or stubborn cases or for kids with defiance and anger problems.
Herbal remedy for tantrums—
Many Aspergers kids have violent tantrums, sometimes seemingly without cause. Tantrums may often be a result of the youngster's frustration at being unable to communicate or understand, and may also be a response to changes in routine or environment. Tantrum Tamer, a specially formulated homeopathic remedy, uses proven homeopathic ingredients which can greatly reduce or eliminate distressing and hard to handle tantrums. Tantrum Tamer dissolves easily in the mouth and is pleasant tasting and readily accepted by kids. Remedies may be used independently or in combination.
My Aspergers Child: Preventing Meltdowns and Tantrums in Aspergers Children