Asperger's Syndrome

Asperger's Syndrome, also known as Asperger Syndrome or AS, is an Autism Spectrum Disorder. This condition is different from other Autism Spectrum Disorders since linguistic and cognitive abilities are preserved.The symptoms of Asperger's Syndrome can be visible from childhood, but they are often paid attention to in adolescence or even adulthood. Asperger's is four times more prevalent in males than females.

Characteristics of Asperger's Syndrome

People with Asperger's can be highly intelligent and professionally successful, yet have inadequate social skills. They often misinterpret social interactions and may not be aware of socially acceptable boundaries. They may be brilliant and engaging speakers on the topics they feel passionate about, yet small talk quickly makes them bored and disengaged. Others may view them as overly-shy, extremely outgoing, ignorant, quiet, or vain.

Individuals with high-functioning Asperger's often develop a passion for one or two topics. These interests usually last for their whole life, allowing them to gain amazing in-depth knowledge and insight into their chosen fields. Topics of interest can be diverse, ranging from computers to music to history. These passions are often a source of pride, happiness, and success in an individual's life.

Signs of Asperger's Syndrome include:

  • Difficulties understanding other people and expressing themselves.
  • Decreased abilities in interpreting subtle body language, facial expressions, and tonality.
  • Impatience for small talk.
  • Trouble maintaining eye contact.
  • Struggle in handling typical daily activities, such as organizing time.
  • Limited ability to create and maintain friendships.

Treatment of Asperger's Syndrome

When an adult is diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome, he or she can go through a variety of emotional reactions. Most adults who have been diagnosed believe that it is a very positive experience.  There can be relief and joy at ending the long journey to different specialists. They feel astonished at finally discovering what makes them different from others. They can also feel excitement about how their lives might now change for the better.  However, there can be anger about the delay in being diagnosed and not being able to recognize signs earlier. They can feel grief for all the years that they felt misunderstood, inadequate, rejected, and unable to be as socially successful as other people they knew.

Acknowledgement of the diagnosis can lead to better self-understanding and better decision-making with regard to friendships, careers, and relationships. Acceptance of the diagnosis can be an important stage in the development of successful adult relationships with a partner.

Although Asperger's Syndrome cannot be cured, psychotherapy can help individuals to develop the appropriate skills, coping mechanisms, and strategies to live normal, happy lives and thrive in their work and social circles. Practical training in social skills and behavioral responses is of great value to people with Asperger's Syndrome.

Dr. Spector enjoys working with her intelligent and highly-motivated clients with Asperger's Syndrome. She applies her broad knowledge and experience to help these individuals reach the highest levels of their potential.