Asperger syndrome (pronounced / aspɛʁgəʁ / ) is an autism spectrum disorder that is characterized by inability of the patients to normally interact with other people, coupled with restricted interests and repeated behaviors. The cognitive development and linguistic capability, however, are relatively preserved compared to other autism spectrum disorders. Although not considered for diagnosis, atypical use of language and physical clumsiness are frequently reported.
The term “Asperger syndrome” was proposed by British psychiatrist Lorna Wing in her publication in 1981. The disorder is named to honor the Austrian psychiatrist and pediatrician Hans Asperger, who himself used the term “autistic psychopathy.”
What are the factors causing the Asperger syndrome is still unknown. Some researchers suggest a genetic nature of the disorder. The intestinal flora may also be questioned. However, there in no direct evidence on obvious pathological phenomenon.
Like other states, which are classified as autism spectrum disorders, Asperger syndrome is more common in males than females. Men and boys make up about 75-80 percent of diagnosed patients. Many doctors believe that it cannot reflect the real frequency of occurrence in women, a renowned expert on Asperger’s Syndrome Tony Attwood suggests that women are better able to compensate for their problems due to differences in socialization (Attwood, p. 151-2). Some evidence for this hypothesis was found by Ehlerz and Gillberg. According to their study, the undoubted cases of Asperger’s syndrome for both sexes have ratio of 4:1, but if you add eristic and other cases, you get much less “distorted” ratio of 2.3:1.
In 1992, the results of a study showed that at least 0.36% of children of school age obviously met the criteria for Asperger’s syndrome. If you add controversial cases, the prevalence increases to approximately 0.71%. According to the study, 30-50 % of patients with the syndrome have been not diagnosed. According to Bernard in adults with normal intelligence (IQ of 70 or above), the prevalence of Asperger syndrome is 0,36% (Barnard et. Al., 2001). Most of them (95 %) suffer from unemployment or underemployment. In addition, adults with Asperger syndrome often suffer from depression and, according to some researchers; patients with this syndrome are more likely to suffer from psychosis in adolescence and adulthood (Frey 2006).
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