Asperger Syndrome

Asperger Syndrome is a pervasive developmental disorder that falls within the autistic spectrum. It is a lifelong condition and affects about 1 in 100 people, more commonly in men than women. The condition is characterised by difficulties with social interaction, social communication and flexibility of thinking or imagination. In addition, there may be sensory, motor and organisational difficulties. A pattern of behaviours and abilities to include a lack of empathy, impaired imagination, difficulty in making friends, intense absorption in a special interest and often problems with motor co-ordination. Whilst people with Asperger Syndrome will exhibit some or all of these characteristics to a greater or lesser degree, many tend to experience isolation and a lack of understanding in their everyday lives, which often results in frustration, anger, depression and a lack of self-esteem.

Collectively, the characteristics of Asperger’s Syndrome contribute to the extreme isolation experienced by those who suffer from it. Often misunderstood and rejected, people with Asperger Syndrome have very low self-esteem, which is usually expressed by anger and blame at the world around them. Asperger Syndrome is often not recognised or diagnosed. It is common for children to attend mainstream schools, where they find the day-to-day life complex and difficult to deal with. They find it hard to make friends because they are seen as different by their teachers and peers, and as a result, they can experience loneliness and bullying.

If the counsellor has a good understanding & knowledge of what Asperger Syndrome is this will hopefully increase the therapeutic client counsellor relationship. Keeping to the presenting problems rather than exploring problems in the past maybe more helpful for the client. AS individuals are very logical and often see no point in discussing what is past and that cannot be changed. AS individuals often have a better visual than verbal memory; writing things down or by using creative modalities could be helpful. Also counselling can be extremely beneficial and sometimes essential for the other family members who are living with a child, young person or adult with Asperger Syndrome.

Useful Books

The Complete Guide to Asperger’s Syndrome by Tony Attwood
ISBN - 1 84310 495 4

How to help your Autistic Spectrum Child by Jackie Brealy & Beverly Davies
ISBN – 978-1-905410-05-7

Freaks, Geeks and Asperger Syndrome by Luke Jackson
ISBN 1 843 10 098 3

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