Asperger’s Syndrome (AS) or High Functioning Autism (HFA) are disorders that fall along the Autism continuum. Many professionals believe that AS is different to Autism in that there is little to no intellectual disability and in fact some children with AS show a higher than average intellect. Social communication is affected, as children with AS have difficulties with nonverbal cues.
Children with AS show normal development in speaking, reading and writing, but may have trouble with comprehension. Children with AS tend to take things literally – if you say you have eaten too much and are going to burst, they may take a step back! They may be clumsier than another child of the same age, and can be sensitive to touch or loud noises. Children with AS will often develop very specialized interests, which can often appear obsessive.
Parents and caregivers can help children with AS or HFA in a number of practical ways. Routine and predictability are important to these children, so minimizing change helps them cope with day to day life. Teaching and modelling social behavior helps them learn how to recognize social cues and develop friendships. Recognizing their differences as positive helps build their self-esteem and confidence.
Margaret McDonald is a trained clinical psychologist and can assess and diagnose children with AS and HFA. Margaret can also teach you and your child the skills to make day to day life easier . To book an appointment or make enquiries phone 07 3862 8833