Asperger’s syndrome – High Functioning Autism
Asperger’s syndrome/High Functioning Autism is a disability on the autistic spectrum, but it does not mean lack of intelligence. University students with AS are usually of average or above average intelligence and some are gifted.
Other names for similar difficulties which are also on the autistic spectrum include Semantic Pragmatic Disorder, Atypical Autism and High Functioning Autism.
People with Asperger’s syndrome have difficulties in 3 main areas:
- difficulty getting on with other people socially
- difficulty making and keeping friends
- difficulty understanding how to respond in social situations.
This may cause a person to feel isolated.
- difficulty with talking to other people,
- difficulty with listening to others
- difficulty making and maintaining eye contact during conversations.
- A literal approach to language, so that idioms, sarcasm and ‘dry wit’ such as ‘jump on the band wagon’ and ‘wicked’ are misunderstood
Imagination and flexibility:
- preference for fixed routines
- difficulty coping with change.
- difficulty accepting that they have to change their own way of doing things to fit in with others or to satisfy academic requirements
- difficulty thinking creatively or being able to express their creativeness.
- obsessions with certain topics or interests.
People with AS do differ and, as individuals, they experience the above difficulties to a greater or lesser extent. Frequent associated difficulties:
- motor co-ordination difficulty (dyspraxia)
- anxieties, particularly at times of transition or in relation to change
- depression, often exacerbated by social isolation or perceived rejection or low self-esteem
Other conditions known to co-exist with AS are ADHD, PDA and obsessive/compulsive disorder. There is no cure for Asperger’s syndrome/HFA and the cause is still unknown. There many different approaches available to help the person develop skills in the above areas of deficit.
How can SLT Online Help?
Julie Andrews, consultant speech and language therapist, offers assessments, therapy and training in the Leicestershire, Northamptonshire & Warwickshire areas.
To arrange an assessment with Julie please visit the appointments page. If you require any further information about the help Julie can provide for people with autism, please visit the contact page and complete the on-line form.