Wednesday, September 21, 2011


Asperger syndrome or AS is the autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in which there is no general delay in language or  cognitive development. Like the more severe ASDs, it is  characterized by difficulties in social interaction and restricted, stereotyped patterns of behavior and interests. Although not mentioned in standard diagnostic criteria for AS, physical clumsiness and atypical use of language are frequently reported.[1]HYPERLINK  \l "cite_note-Baskin-1"[2]. Asperger syndrome is named after Austrian pediatrician Hans Asperger who, in 1944, described children in his practice who lacked nonverbal communication skills, demonstrated limited empathy with their peers, and were physically clumsy.[3] Fifty years later, AS was standardized as a diagnosis,  but questions about many aspects of AS remain.[4] For example, there is lingering doubt about the  distinction between AS and high-functioning autism (HFA);[5] partly due to this, the prevalence  of AS is not firmly established. The exact cause of AS is unknown, although research supports  the likelihood of a genetic basis; brain imaging techniques have not identified a clear common pathology.[1] There is no single treatment for Asperger syndrome, and the effectiveness of  particular  interventions is supported by only limited data. Intervention is aimed at improving symptoms  and function. The mainstay of management is behavioral therapy, focusing on specific deficits  to address poor communication skills, obsessive or repetitive routines, and physical clumsiness . Most individuals with AS can learn to cope with their differences, but may continue to need moral support and encouragement to maintain an independent life.[6] Researchers and people with AS have advocated a shift in attitudes toward the view that AS is a difference, rather than a disability that must be treated or cured.[7]


Autism is a brain development disorder that is characterized by impaired social interaction  and communication, and restricted and repetitive behavior, all starting before a child is three  years old. This set of signs distinguishes autism from milder autism spectrum disorders (ASD)  such as Asperger syndrome.[2] Autism has a strong genetic basis, although the genetics of autism are complex and it is unclear  whether ASD is explained more by multigene interactions or by rare mutations.[3] In rare cases, autism is strongly associated with agents that cause birth defects.[4] Other proposed causes, such as childhood vaccines, are controversial; the vaccine hypotheses lack convincing scientific evidence .[5] Most recent reviews estimate a prevalence of one to two cases per 1,000 people for autism,  and about six per 1,000 for ASD, with ASD averaging a 4.3:1 male-to-female ratio. The number of people known to have autism has increased dramatically since the 1980s, at least partly as a result of changes in diagnostic practice; the question of whether actual prevalence has increased is unresolved.[6] Autism affects many parts of the brain; how this occurs is not understood. Parents usually notice signs in the first two years of their child's life. Early behavioral or cognitive intervention can help  children gain self-care, social, and communication skills. There is no known cure.[7] Few children with autism live independently after reaching adulthood, but some become  successful,[8] and an autistic culture has developed, with some seeking a cure and others  believing that autism is a condition rather than a disorder.[9]

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