Understanding Asperger’s syndrome
Asperger’s syndrome is a form of autism, which is a developmental disability. Autism affects the way people interact with the world, though being a spectrum condition, it affects people in different ways. Autism is fairly common, affecting an estimated 700,000 people in the UK.
Asperger’s syndrome is not a disease and it is not something that can be ‘treated’, however there is support and a range of approaches that can be helpful.
Living with Asperger’s syndrome
For many, living with Asperger’s can at times, be an overwhelming experience. Understanding and relating to others around them can be difficult – they may feel different, or that people don’t understand them. Feelings of anxiety can be common.
Autism is an invisible disability, so other people may not know someone is living with the condition. Many people living with Asperger’s are highly intelligent and have no trouble conversing with others, despite the condition.
Those living with Asperger’s may experience difficulty with social interactions and understanding people’s feelings and intentions. They may have highly focused and dedicated interests, and they may find safety in having a set routine. This feeling of safety in routine can often lead them to resisting change. A person living with Asperger’s may also experience sensory sensitivity.
What support is available?
People on the autism spectrum can be more likely to experience mental health concerns, such as anxiety, depression and obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). Those with Asperger’s syndrome can find it difficult to vocalise how they feel and they may be more worried about asking for help. The thing to remember is that help and support is available and it can be useful to speak to someone who understands autism and its challenges.
Many people with autism find it helpful speaking to a professional. Counselling can help learn coping strategies and relaxation techniques, as well as offering a safe, non-judgemental place to talk.
Depending on the individual, the counsellor may use a range of approaches and techniques, tailored to the individual’s needs. Techniques may include cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT), solution-focused brief therapy or psychoanalytic approaches.
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