For adults and children with Asperger’s syndrome, each day can be a struggle. Often there are complicated social interactions, repetitive behavior patterns and restricted social interests that seriously limit one’s life. Family members, friends and relatives usually can find connecting challenging and it can lead to interpersonal stress and tension. However, increasing awareness of this condition has resulted in easier diagnosis and improved treatment procedures. There is also more public awareness and programs in the schools available than in the past.
There are mild cases as well as those with multiple symptoms. Parents may notice the symptoms first in the form of avoiding eye contact, aloofness from other children, social withdrawal, distance from siblings, refusal to acknowledge names, repetitive behaviors, fear any change, and show lack of interest in playing with others. There is a lot of variance in symptoms and some children are more interactive with others. Advances in the field of medicine and psychiatry have led to simplified diagnoses procedures and treatment protocols.
Someone with Asperger’s may not realize that something said to them was meant to be a joke. There can also be hurt feelings by siblings who may feel that the patient is not compassionate towards them and prefers being alone. This can lead to tension in the home.
In school, some children will feel that they are different from other kids and may isolate themselves more. There can also be social problems due to teasing and cruelty from others.
There is no single mode of treatment but all doctors agree that three core symptoms of Asperger’s (repetitive routines, physical awkwardness and poor communication skills) can be addressed with counseling. A typical counseling program for the patient can include:
Social skill training and Social Communication therapy : Social skills are an important part of training and working on language skills increase one’s confidence. By working on vocalizing properly, understanding tones and moods with the help of a professional therapist this improves social interactions. Some people that suffer with Asperger’s can gain more awareness of the tone of their voices and practice taking turns and listening more in conversations.
Cognitive behavioral therapy – This mode of treatment assists the patient to cope with stressful situations, meltdowns and anxiety. Gaining more self-awareness helps self-esteem as well.
Understanding Asperger’s Syndrome Better: Counseling For Parents
Apart from counseling for the patient, it is necessary to counsel the family as well. Parents can be confused and unsure of the best way to help their child and may have feelings of guilt, anger and depression are common. By educating yourself about the condition this helps you with both your child as well as questions from other kids’ parents and relatives. Many people are unsure of the differences between autism and asperger’s and confuse them. Contacting the school, going to support groups and processing one’s emotions is important. It can be overwhelming and of course your child relies on you for emotional and physical support as well.
This population is very rewarding to work with. If you’re interested in helping those with Asperger’s Syndrome, and want to learn more about different ways you can get involved, click here to learn about the programs that are available . You can make a difference in someone’s life.