What are the common symptoms to look out for?

Question

For a mom or dad who suspects their youngster may have Aspergers, what are the common symptoms to look out for?

Answer

Aspergers is a developmental disorder that affects a youngster's ability to socialize and communicate effectively with others. Kids with Aspergers typically exhibit social awkwardness and an all-absorbing interest in specific topics.

Signs and symptoms of Aspergers include:

• Appearing not to understand, empathize with, or be sensitive to others' feelings
• Displaying unusual nonverbal communication, such as lack of eye contact, few facial expressions, or awkward body postures and gestures
• Having a hard time "reading" other people or understanding humor
• Having an odd posture or a rigid gait
• Moving clumsily, with poor coordination
• Showing an intense obsession with one or two specific, narrow subjects, such as baseball statistics, train schedules, weather or snakes
• Speaking in a voice that is monotonous, rigid or unusually fast

Autism and Aspergers are difficult to diagnose especially in young kids where language and cognitive skills are still developing. All kids are different, and many toddlers show a sign or symptom of Aspergers at some point. It's natural for small kids to be egocentric, and many little ones show a strong interest in a particular topic, such as dinosaurs or a favorite fictional character. These alone aren't reasons to be alarmed!

However, if your youngster has frequent problems in school or seems unable to make friends, it's time to consult your pediatrician. These difficulties have many possible causes, but developmental disorders such as Aspergers shouldn't be ruled out.


Raising Kids with Autism Spectrum Disorder: Parents' Grief and Guilt

Some parents grieve for the loss of the youngster they   imagined  they had. Moms and dads have their own particular way of dealing with the...