Asperger Syndrome

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What to expect

Asperger Syndrome

Asperger Syndrome is a form of autistic spectrum disorder, a lifelong disability which affects a child's ability to communicate and relate to others and also how they make sense of the world around them.

Asperger syndrome is often not easily identifiable like other forms of autistic spectrum disorder and affects areas of social communication.

Speech and language therapy will help to support a child's communication and social communication, helping to maximise their ability to communicate to their full potential.

What is Asperger syndrome?

Asperger syndrome is a type of autistic spectrum disorder. Unlike other forms of autistic spectrum disorder which may affect expressive (verbal and written) communication, a child with Asperger syndrome will have verbal communication.

Three areas of communication are affected in Asperger syndrome:

Although there are similarities with autistic spectrum disorder, children with Asperger syndrome will have fewer difficulties with speaking and will have an average (or above average) intelligence. They may have additional difficulties such as dyslexia and attention deficit disorder.

The main areas of difficulty a child with Asperger syndrome may have are, understanding social cues, non-verbal information such as emotion (facial expression and tone of voice), and may fail to understand jokes or sarcasm. A child with Asperger syndrome may find it difficult to maintain conversations, peer-relationships and may also have obsessive routines.

With the correct support, children with Asperger syndrome will be able to independently and effectively communicate to the best of their ability.

What causes Asperger syndrome?

There is no known cause of Asperger syndrome and it is usually caused by a combination of genetic, brain development and environmental factors.

What problems caused by Asperger syndrome can speech and language therapy help with?

Speech and language therapy can help with any of the following difficulties which may be caused by Asperger syndrome:

How is Asperger syndrome diagnosed?

Unlike other forms of autistic spectrum disorder, Asperger syndrome is usually harder to diagnose as the syndrome varies widely in each individual child. It is often diagnosed later than children with autistic spectrum disorder as some of the difficulties may go unnoticed.

An assessment carried out by the speech and language therapist will involve:

  • Gathering a history of your child's development.
  • A conversation about your child's speech and language skills and any concerns you may have.
  • An observation of your child's speech, language and play skills.
  • A more detailed assessment of your child's communication skills including interaction with others and language skills.
  • How does speech and language therapy help a child with Asperger syndrome?

    With the right support and encouragement a child with Asperger syndrome can lead an independent lifestyle e.g. with peers at school and home. Common aims of speech and language therapy for children with Asperger syndrome are:

  • Supporting the child in their use and understanding of social skills.
  • Improving non-verbal communication (eye-contact, gesture and facial expression).
  • Improving and supporting the use of language within everyday interaction.
  • Improving the child's understanding of language.
  • Speech and language therapy will vary for each individual child with Asperger syndrome and is specifically targeted to their needs and abilities.

    Speech and language therapy will help a child with Asperger syndrome in many aspects of their communication. Speech and language therapy will allow a child with Asperger syndrome to effectively communicate to their best potential in all environments e.g. school and at home, which will help them build and maintain peer relationships and effective social skills.

    What would speech and language therapy treatment for a child with Asperger syndrome involve?

    An assessment carried out by the speech and language therapist will help determine the best treatment option for your child. Treatment may include:

    Specific treatment for children with Asperger syndrome often includes social skills groups.

    Any concerns you or your child may have, or areas you would like to improve on regarding your child's specific needs, will also be discussed during the treatment process.

    How do I arrange a speech and language therapy assessment for Asperger syndrome?

    To arrange a speech and language therapy appointment for your child please call 0330 0885 643.

    Summary

    Asperger syndrome is a lifelong disorder and can impact on many aspects of a child's communication. With the right support and encouragement a child with Asperger syndrome will be able to participate effectively in school and home routines. Speech and language therapy aims to improve on communication difficulties and allow the child with Asperger syndrome to communicate to the best of their ability. If you feel you and your child may benefit from speech and language therapy then please do not hesitate to contact us by emailing office@slt.co.uk or calling 0330 0885 643.


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