The Various Treatment Options for Asperger's Syndrome

The Various Treatment Options for Asperger's Syndrome
June 9, 2013 7:32 AM

Asperger's syndrome is a live long neurological and development disorder which is categorized as autism. The condition is characterized by limited interests, peculiar speech patterns, repetitive behaviors, difficult in establishing relationships with other people and poor nonverbal communication. These characteristics make the affected person experience difficulties in relating with peers consequently making such a person live an abnormal life.

The condition is usually recognized when a person is young and hence it's more noticeable in children. The exact causes of the conditions are not clearly known consequently making it hard to come up with preventive measures. However, there are several options how to treat Asperger's syndrome. Read on to find out more.

Asperger's syndrome treatment options

Communication and social skill training

One of the most effective treatment option is communication and social skill training. This means that the affected person is trained on the diverse unwritten rules of communication and socialization. This treatment is best administered to children who are affected by the condition since this is the appropriate stage to reduce the magnitude of the condition.

A child who is trained on how to communicate and socialize usually grows up acquiring the outlined skills and hence reducing the effects of the condition. This training is usually compared with learning foreign languages since the affected children learns entire new skills in which they are not endowed with due to the effects of the condition.

The training incorporates teaching the affected person how to interpret communication techniques which include tone of voices, eye contact, sarcasm, gestures and humor. The ideal people to conduct this training are professionals who understand that the affected persons require special attention.

The time taken before the affected person is able to overcome the condition and live a normal life usually varies depending on the ability of the patient to comprehend the details of the training.

Cognitive behavioral therapy

Another option for treatment of the Asperger's syndrome is cognitive behavioral therapy. This entails a combination of techniques which are applied to help the person affected by the condition to control some of the effects characterized by the condition. Some of the effects and behaviors that the therapy aims to eliminate include; angry outbursts, dealing with anxiety, obsessions and lack of concentration. The therapy also aims at helping the affected people develop skills such as recognizing both their feelings and the feeling of the people around them.

A person who is taken through the therapy is usually able to recognize diverse situations facing them and be able to come up with suitable solutions. As a result, such people are able to handle problems occurring in their lives which is one of the effects associated with the condition where affected people fails to handle properly the problems facing them on their day to day activities.

Treatment of Asperger's syndrome through medication

Asperger syndrome is also treated using medication of different kinds and which performs different purposes. This is despite the fact that there are no specific medications that can solely eliminate the condition completely. Consequently, the affected people takes different kinds of medicines which help them control and reduce the intensity of the various effects associated with the condition. Some of the popular medications used to treat Asperger syndrome include:

Aripiprazole which controls irritability and has side effects of increasing blood sugar and the patient gaining weight;

Guanfacine which helps the affected people control their hyperactivity and has side effects of drowsiness and headaches;

Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) which help to control depression and its side effects include agitation and restlessness;

Risperdal which controls irritability and has the side effect of increasing appetite;

Olanzapine which helps in reducing repetitive behaviors and has the side effects such as weight gain and drowsiness;

Naltrexone which helps to control repetitive behaviors and is required to be used in small doses so as to eliminate chances of having any side effects.

Even though the outlined medications are known to treat Asperger syndrome, it is always advisable to get the prescription from a professional doctor so as to ensure that the medicines are compatible with the particular person. This is paramount since some drugs might work with one patient but react negatively with a different person.

Group activities and counseling sessions as Asperger's syndrome treatment option

Another of the Asperger's syndrome treatment options is the affected person participating in group activities and counseling sessions. These group activities are helpful since they give the affected people an opportunity to interact with not only other affected people, but also with normal people. This gives them confidence and allows them to get used to socializing with other people. The counseling sessions are also important since they help the patients understand that they can also overcome the effects caused by Asperger syndrome and live normal lives.

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Written by: Michal Vilímovský (EN)
Education: Medical student, 3rd Faculty of Medicine, Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic
Published: June 9, 2013 7:32 AM
Next scheduled update: June 9, 2015 7:32 AM
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