Education and Counseling for Individuals Affected by Autism Spectrum Disorders


Questionable Theory of Aspergers

Scientific study has identified a link between high levels of androgen hormone or testosterone in infants still in the womb and autistic characteristics in kids. Infants subjected to high levels of the sex hormone testosterone in the womb seem to be at higher risk for these autistic traits.

While the scientists are cautious to note that even though they can't prove testosterone exposure in the womb leads to Aspergers, they firmly believe it might eventually be implicated as one of the primary factors associated with Aspergers.

The concept that fetal testosterone might play a causal role in Aspergers is a current hypothesis. There is no proof that it is a causal factor, however this research is undoubtedly in keeping with that hypothesis.

The research followed 235 moms and their kids over 8 years. At the onset of the research, the mothers had an amniocentesis, a normal womb examination during pregnancy which identified testosterone levels present. The kids were closely monitored during the subsequent 8 years and examined for autistic-like behavior at regular time periods throughout their development.

Scientists discovered that high amounts of testosterone within the amniotic fluid of the womb were noticeably linked with autistic-like behavior. Hormones inside the amniotic fluid are a product of the newborn, not the newborn's mom. Scientists do not know if the fetal testosterone causes the autistic qualities or is a by-product of them.

Aspergers and Autism-related disorders tend to be characterized by complications in socializing with others, even family members. They might also be much less empathetic and usually exhibit less emotional reactions than kids without the condition. Individuals with Aspergers or autistic-related disorders occasionally are intrigued with numbers and logical systems of order.

Kids with Aspergers appeared to have an exaggeration of the standard male profile because they possess a strong interest in systems (e.g., numbers), but have difficulty with empathy.

Baron Cohen is a leader in the “extreme male brain” concept. This theory shows that Aspergers is at one end of a spectrum of social behaviors more typical of males than females.

The extreme male brain theory was initially created at a psychological level. Kids with Aspergers appear to have an exaggerated male profile. Now we are moving from the psychological level to the biological level.

The Aspergers Comprehensive Handbook


Anonymous said...

Hi Mark,
I would just like to thank you for all the wonderful information you send to me about Aspergers.
Keep up the great work!

Anonymous said...

Hello Mark,

Thanks for the update! :) I was going to ask you if you might be able to give me a referral, so that I can get my son the help he needs. I reside in Williamsburg, VA.

Here lately, I have been corresponding with my son via email and have found that he is much more comfortable with expressing his inner most feelings using this medium. Thankfully, I was smart enough to give 'emailing' a try. It is working! I recently read through a particular article that talks about 'social skills therapy,' which I think my son can truly benefit from, however, I am not sure who it is I would contact to actually get him this type of therapy. I also am curious as to whether "TRICARE" might cover the cost, since I am on active duty.

In the past I had my son see a psychologist/psychiatrist …one at 7 yrs of age and the other at 9 yrs of age. My son is now 16. It has been a long road. Despite what progress my son has made academically, I still have major concerns as he is approaching the age of 18. Based on what I have read, and what things I know my son struggles with, I realize that his current state of being may not ever change, and that he may very well not be able to live an independent life and drive. At this point I am thinking that it may be a good idea to begin counseling to help him with his ongoing anxiety issues, etc. Perhaps I should consider taking my son to see a physician and requesting that the physician look at the psychiatrist’s reports and discuss the way ahead/put a plan in place to make sure that if something were to happen to me, there is documentation in place to support the fact that my son has Aspergers. Perhaps he would qualify for social security/qualify as a dependent of mine indefinitely, as I am on active duty. After the age of 18, children are no longer considered a dependent unless they are in college full-time.

The paragraphs below identify those areas that my son struggles the most with.

Many children can benefit from specialized techniques that focus on social skills and behavioral management training, which include:

1. Training for social and communication skills: with the help of rote fashion and explicit way of teaching many Children suffering with Asperger's syndrome, might be capable to learn more rules of socialization and communication with foreign languages. They also learn to speak in a natural rhythm or interpretation of communication techniques like gestures, voice tone, eye contact, humor and sarcasm.

2. Developing skills, including recognizing feelings and anxiety. It focuses on assisting an Aspergers child with identifying situations he/she may find troublesome and then coming up with a specific strategy to handle this situation.

3. If your son is older, social skills therapy can help him work on social cues, facial expressions, and basic communication, which in turn, will enhance his theory of mind abilities.

I would appreciate your feedback and assistance in providing a referral if possible, so that I know what direction I should take this in.

Thank you kindly. I am soo appreciative of the information on your website!


Anonymous said...

I read Cohen's book a year ago and it made a lot of sense. It would explain why the overwhelming majority of Asperger's kids are boys. In the small number of females that have been diagnosed, they tend to have a more athletic, male body shape and lower voice, all indicative of a higher testosterone level. I myself have a higher testosterone level than the average female, and my husband has a higher than average level himself. And yes, we do have a son with Aspergers. I am curious to see more scientific research on this topic.

My child has been rejected by his peers, ridiculed and bullied !!!

Social rejection has devastating effects in many areas of functioning. Because the Aspergers child tends to internalize how others treat him, rejection damages self-esteem and often causes anxiety and depression. As the child feels worse about himself and becomes more anxious and depressed – he performs worse, socially and intellectually.

Click here to read the full article…

How to Prevent Meltdowns in Aspergers Children

Meltdowns are not a pretty sight. They are somewhat like overblown temper tantrums, but unlike tantrums, meltdowns can last anywhere from ten minutes to over an hour. When it starts, the Asperger's child is totally out-of-control. When it ends, both you and the Asperger’s child are totally exhausted. But... don’t breathe a sigh of relief yet. At the least provocation, for the remainder of that day -- and sometimes into the next - the meltdown can return in full force.

Click here for the full article...

Parenting Defiant Aspergers Teens

Although Aspergers is at the milder end of the autism spectrum, the challenges parents face when disciplining a teenager with Aspergers are more difficult than they would be with an average teen. Complicated by defiant behavior, the Aspergers teen is at risk for even greater difficulties on multiple levels – unless the parents’ disciplinary techniques are tailored to their child's special needs.

Click here to read the full article…

Aspergers Children “Block-Out” Their Emotions

Parenting children with Aspergers and HFA can be a daunting task. In layman’s terms, Aspergers is a developmental disability that affects the way children develop and understand the world around them, and is directly linked to their senses and sensory processing. This means they often use certain behaviors to block out their emotions or response to pain.

Click here to read the full article…

Older Teens and Young Adult Children With Aspergers Still Living At Home

Your older teenager or young “adult child” isn’t sure what to do, and he is asking you for money every few days. How do you cut the purse strings and teach him to be independent? Parents of teens with Aspergers face many problems that other parents do not. Time is running out for teaching their adolescent how to become an independent adult. As one mother put it, "There's so little time, yet so much left to do."

Click here to read the full article…

Living with an Aspergers Spouse/Partner

Research reveals that the divorce rate for people with Aspergers is around 80%. Why so high!? The answer may be found in how the symptoms of Aspergers affect intimate relationships. People with Aspergers often find it difficult to understand others and express themselves. They may seem to lose interest in people over time, appear aloof, and are often mistaken as self-centered, vain individuals.

Click here to read the full article…

Online Parent Coaching for Parents of Asperger's Children

If you’re the parent of a child with Aspergers or High-Functioning Autism, you know it can be a struggle from time to time. Your child may be experiencing: obsessive routines; problems coping in social situations; intense tantrums and meltdowns; over-sensitivity to sounds, tastes, smells and sights; preoccupation with one subject of interest; and being overwhelmed by even the smallest of changes.

Click here to read the full article...

Unraveling The Mystery Behind Asperger's and High-Functioning Autism

Parents, teachers, and the general public have a lot of misconceptions of Asperger's and High-Functioning Autism. Many myths abound, and the lack of knowledge is both disturbing and harmful to kids and teens who struggle with the disorder.

Click here to read the full article...

Parenting Children and Teens with High-Functioning Autism

Two traits often found in kids with High-Functioning Autism are “mind-blindness” (i.e., the inability to predict the beliefs and intentions of others) and “alexithymia” (i.e., the inability to identify and interpret emotional signals in others). These two traits reduce the youngster’s ability to empathize with peers. As a result, he or she may be perceived by adults and other children as selfish, insensitive and uncaring.

Click here
to read the full article...

My Aspergers Child - Syndicated Content