What is Asperger’s Syndrome?
Asperger’s Syndrome comes under the banner of Autistic Spectrum Disorders (ASD). It is often called high functioning autism, as the individual may have many autistic spectrum disorder symptoms but has a normal range IQ and is able to learn at school. A diagnosis needs to be made by a paediatrician. Diagnosis is difficult before school age although some generalised ASD symptoms will be seen by parents and teachers in younger children. However, to be diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome the following formal criteria must be met:
- Impairment in social interaction.
- Restricted repetitive and stereotyped patterns of behaviour, interests and activities
- Behaviour which causes significant impairment in social interactions at school and in occupational and other important areas of functioning as an adult.
How do I know if my child has Asperger’s Syndrome?
The Asperger’s child will demonstrate some of the following characteristics. It is important to note that many of the symptoms below are shared with other categories of learning difficulties and may indicate common, underlying developmental or auditory processing delays. Why not take our FREE online test to understand if your child is displaying common symptoms of learning or behavioural difficulties and to understand if your child would benefit from our natural and holistic therapies.
- Lack of empathy. Difficulty putting themselves into another person’s shoes.
- Difficulty making friends. May get on better with adults than their peers.
- Difficulty with social skills such as in “ give and take” social interactions
- Limited facial expressions
- Poor eye contact
- Difficulty controlling emotions, may be prone to outbursts and meltdowns
- Unusual language which may include advanced vocabulary or an accent
- A fascination with a topic or special interest which excludes other interests
- Difficulty maintaining a conversation about topics other than their special interest
- Difficulty maintaining attention in class and poor listening skills
- Uneven learning abilities and may be gifted in one academic area but struggle in others
- Clumsiness and may have poor fine motor skills
- Hypersensitivity, especially to noise, aromas, textures or touch
- Difficulty coping with changes in routine and tantrums may be common
- May have other diagnosis such as ADHD, dyspraxia or dyslexia
How can the Developmental Learning Centre help?
We primarily offer two therapies for children with learning and behavioural difficulties:
Can you imagine trying to build a house without putting in a firm foundation? Trying to remediate a child who simply does not have the equipment (wiring) and foundation (mature neurological system, good spatial awareness, listening skills and visual perception) for their “house of learning” is very difficult.
At the Developmental Learning Centre, we believe our first task is to in address the underlying immaturities to develop a good neurological foundation. To do this we use Developmental Movement Therapy (Extra LessonTM). Central to this therapy is the idea that learning and behavioural difficulties are a result of developmental issues in a child’s early years. This means they may not have received some of the sensory input they needed that form the basis of our learning processes. By repeating early childhood movement patterns, we are able to ‘rewire’ brain and rebuild the pathways and foundation of learning.
If your child has learning difficulties, it may be a result of an auditory processing difficulty or disorder, and they will be likely to benefit from Auditory Retraining Therapy. This therapy uses filtered music to mature the pathways in the brain needed to recognise different sounds when reading and spelling and to process spoken language quickly and efficiently. Music therapy is also used to treat children who are easily overwhelmed, hypersensitive and anxious, and have difficulty regulating their emotions.
It is relatively new and is not used by audiologists and speech and language therapist in NZ as a rule. In fact your GP, your audiologist and your speech and language therapist may not have heard of it. However it has been in existence for approximately 40 years. It was developed by a French ear nose and throat specialist, Dr Alfred Tomatis (www.tomatis.com ) and is incredibly effective for children with auditory dyslexia.
Does your child display symptoms of Aspergers Syndrome?
Call 0800 543 399 or Request a free call back with the Developmental Learning Centre to understand if how your child could benefit from our natural and holistic therapies.