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Asperger Syndrome (cont.)

Asperger's Syndrome Prognosis

Individuals with Asperger's syndrome have a higher level of functioning and a better outlook than those with other forms of autism spectrum disorders. Although their underlying social impairments are believed to be lifelong, some improvement in functioning often occurs through maturational processes.

Individuals with Asperger's syndrome have an increased risk of mood disorders such as depression or anxiety.

Those with supportive families who are knowledgeable about the condition tend to have a better prognosis.

Many experts stress the particular gifts and positive aspects of Asperger's syndrome and consider it to represent an alternative, but not necessarily defective, way of thinking. Positive characteristics of people with Asperger's syndrome are undoubtedly of benefit in many professions and include the increased ability to focus on details and concentrate for long periods; the capacity to persevere in specific interests without being swayed by others' opinions; the ability to work independently; the recognition of patterns that may be missed by others; a unique level of intensity; and an original way of thinking. Individuals with special skills, abilities, or interests relevant to paid employment typically have a more positive outcome. Parents and teachers of individuals with Asperger's syndrome should creatively help them to uncover talents and skills.

Medically reviewed by Margaret Walsh, MD; American Board of Pediatrics

REFERENCES:

American Psychiatric Association. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders DSM-V Fifth Edition. Washington, D.C.: American Psychiatric Association, 2013.

American Psychiatric Association. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders DSM-IV Fourth Edition. Washington, D.C.: American Psychiatric Association, 1994.

American Psychiatric Association. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders DSM-IV-TR Fourth Edition. Arlington: American Psychiatric Association, 2000.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "How Many Children Have Autism?" 2 Feb. 2012.
<http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/features/counting-autism.html>

Landrigan, Phil J. "What causes autism? Exploring the environmental contribution." Current Opinion in Pediatrics 22.2 (2010): 219-225.

Macintosh, K. E. and C. Dissanayake. "Annotation: The similarities and differences between autistic disorder and Asperger's disorder: a review of the empirical evidence." Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, and Allied Disciplines 45.3 (2004): 421-434.

Mattila, Marja-Leena, et al. "Autism spectrum disorders according to DSM-IV-TR and comparison with DSM-5 draft criteria: an epidemiological study." Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry 50.6 (2011): 583-592.

Sugarman, S. D. "Cases in vaccine court-legal battles over vaccines and autism." New England Journal of Medicine 357.13 (2007): 1275-1277.

Attwood, Tony. The Complete Guide to Asperger's Syndrome. Philadelphia: Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2006.


Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 3/24/2015

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Pervasive Developmental Disorder: Asperger Syndrome »

Asperger disorder is a form of pervasive developmental disorder characterized by persistent impairment in social interactions, repetitive behavior patterns, and restricted interests.

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