Autism & Asperger’s
Asperger’s Syndrome (AS) is a high functioning form of autism or autism spectrum disorder (ASD). ASD is a neurodevelopmental disorder that is characterized by three categories of symptoms: sensory sensitivity, repetitive behavior patterns and social impairment. Some symptoms of adults with ASD include:
- Difficulty making friends
- Unusual or repetitive use of language
- Abnormal intense focus on a topic of interest
- Rigid adherence to routines or rituals
- Difficulty initiating or sustaining a conversation
- Impaired ability to be creative or imaginative
- Elevated sensitivity to sensory stimulation
Despite these symptoms, people with AS are gifted in many ways. They tend to have a superior intellect and an amazing ability to focus which may lead to impressive accomplishments in life. People with AS have a different kind of brain. Yet it’s the “best kind of different” as Shonda Schilling writes about in her book with the same name. Please keep in mind that all ASD and AS individuals are unique and will have different levels of severity of symptoms or possibly none at all in some areas. Your therapist or coach will assess the presenting behavioral symptoms and gear treatment and coaching towards your specific case.
Medications and Co-occurring Disorders
There are no medications for Asperger’s but there are medications for other symptoms that can be co-occurring to Asperger’s. Anxiety, depression, OCD, addiction, and psychosis are examples of co-occurring conditions that may warrant medication. If hyperactivity or impulsivity are present in an Asperger individual it may mean they need medication to treat an attention deficit disorder such as ADD or ADHD. Behavioral or substance use addictions (alcohol, drugs, porn, gambling, etc.) are also cases where additional treatment or coaching may be necessary. Silicon Valley Therapy providers are skilled in many of these areas and also works with a board certified psychiatrist to assist with assessment and prescriptions for medications.
Diagnoses and Assessments
How do you know if you or a loved one has Asperger’s Syndrome? As with many diagnoses, Asperger symptoms occur on a spectrum and each Aspie is different. While professional nuero-psychological testing is the most reliable for determining a diagnoses, it can be costly. Another option is to use online assessments to get a reasonable understanding of the presence of Asperger’s. The following two tests are free to take and don’t require any account registration. Your therapist or coach will look at your results to help you understand them as an initial step towards determining a diagnosis of Asperger’s: