As any of my female readers who have middle aged husbands know, the male species is wired differently than the female species. It is no wonder then, why any woman venting to her friends about her husband’s lack of ability to see the whole picture, express a feeling other than joy for a touchdown, or multi -task more than blinking and breathing, is supported by most other women in the room. Isn’t it ironic that after all these years of women trying to compete with men, we are now laughing at their skill sets.
We have been comparing males to females even long before the book “Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus” was written. However, this new era of comparing the sexes takes a different angle. Male characteristics are now getting labeled as disordered with an accompanying symptom complex that goes something like this:
- Difficulty expressing emotions
- Trouble multi-tasking
- Inflexible thought patterns and behaviors
- Unable to pick up on social cues
- Has an unusual interest in certain topics
- Has one sided conversations
All kidding aside, the incidence of Asperger’s in males is 4 times that of females, so how do we really know if our husbands or little boys (and girls) have Apserger’s or not? Click on the link below from the New York Times’ opinion page to learn about one mistaken diagnosis:
From experience in my practice at King’s Speech and Learning Center I have seen a change in the profile of Asperger’s. Because diagnosis of Asperger’s and all Autism Spectrum Disorders can come with a group of associated diagnoses such as anxiety, ADHD, OCD, and different degrees and affected areas of sensory processing disorder, no 2 individuals present the same way. This combined with varying degrees of the severity of Asperger’s has made the profile of behaviors that much more difficult to fit neatly into a diagnostic category. Like the above article explains, a diagnosis is useful for determining eligibility for services, though what is more important for your child is the remediation of core communication, behavioral and learning symptoms by the appropriate provider. Below are some myths about Asperger’s along with some basic symptoms that are consistent with Asperger’s that can be improved with treatment:
Common Myths of Asperger’s
- Scripted like speech verses natural conversation
- Lack of creativity
- No need for human contact or socialization
- Talks a great deal about subjects that are of high interest to them
- Extremely creative and often gifted in the arts, though literal or concrete in their interpretation of symbolic language
- Longs for friends, and starts to realize their differences in being able to form strong connections with peers as young as elementary school
- Attention to others is limited by inability to filter out distractions in the environment due to a sensory processing disorder
So, whether you, your spouse, or your child have Asperger’s or not, social communication, abstract language, and or sensory processing problems can all be managed through speech-language therapy, occupational therapy, and social language therapy (individual and group).
Form more information call Judy Rosenfield at King’s Speech and Learning Center at 860-217-0098.