Asperger’s is a mild form of autism. The Diagnostic Manual (DSM-V) has removed the word Asperger’s in favor of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). I still prefer using this word, as it better describes clients who are high functioning but lack certain social skills. These children and adults may benefit from Asperger’s testing and treatment.
The Sachs Center specializes in testing, diagnosing, and treating children and adults with Asperger’s or High Functioning Autism.
The (ASD) Asperger’s test takes 2 hours. Our process involves a clinical interview where current symptoms are reviewed along with childhood history. During the second hour, a number of self-report measures are given to clarify the diagnosis. Therapy for Asperger’s involves either individual therapy/coaching or group therapy.
What is Aspergers?
Imagine you’re in a room filled with people, but you struggle to communicate. You find it difficult to make eye contact and have received feedback that you’re not friendly enough. People constantly say that you need to work on social skills, but you don’t know how.
Asperger’s creates social challenges at school, work, and within individuals’ personal lives. This syndrome is often first diagnosed as ADHD in childhood. Individuals living with Asperger’s are bright, but they lack critical social skills.
Now, imagine that this experience of struggling to make sense of the social world around you is your everyday life. This is what it is like to have Asperger’s, a high-functioning form of autism typically diagnosed in childhood.
Imagine, not understanding our highly social world…
Clarification About Aspergers
It’s important to understand that individuals with Asperger’s can carry a conversation and are high-functioning. In fact, many exhibit exceptional language development, especially when focusing on their topics of interest. Being able to speak well, and developing thoughts and ideas, are not the issue. The challenge, rather, is having a socially appropriate conversation.
Children and adults with Asperger’s lack the ability to view things from another person’s perspective. They feel unable to truly connect with those around them.
Asperger’s is categorized by social impairments. Individuals seeking therapy for Asperger’s struggle with appropriate social interaction. Children and adults with Autism lack the understanding to hold a meaningful conversation, because they may struggle with nonverbal behaviors. This often manifests in a lack of eye contact or appropriate facial expressions.
Impacts of Asperger Syndrome
Because they fail to respond in socially and emotionally appropriate ways, individuals with Asperger’s struggle to develop meaningful relationships and friendships. They do not pick up on social cues the way the rest of the population does, because they lack empathy and interest in what others have to say.
When children and adults with Asperger’s do find a topic they enjoy, they may become preoccupied and obsessed. For some, the obsession may involve British sports cars. Other individuals may know all there is to know about tornados or basketball statistics. They will want to discuss their specific interests in detail. In addition, they may exhibit repetitive behaviors like tapping their hands. As you may have guessed, this can make social interactions difficult and confusing. Because of this difficulty, Asperger’s testing and treatment might make a huge difference in your life.
Children and Adults with Asperger’s tend to speak in a monotone. They also might talk too loudly or too formally. They tend to misunderstand the nuances of language. For instance, they may take a sarcastic remark seriously or fail to grasp a joke or a metaphor.
As you can imagine, these symptoms make daily activities challenging, confusing, and at times overwhelming. Asperger’s treatment with experienced doctors can greatly benefit people struggling with everyday social situations. Not understanding humor or how to appropriately respond to someone’s emotions, for instance, can make conversations uncomfortable.
Recognizing and Acknowledging Aspergers
For children and adults with Asperger’s, this awkward feeling often goes unnoticed. This is why conversations tend to continue even when they are inappropriate. People with Asperger’s may also fail to think about the best interest of others in social situations. For example, if a baby is sleeping, individuals with Asperger’s may talk loudly, not understanding why people want them to be quiet.
Children and adults with Asperger’s also tend to have rigid routines and dislike change. For instance, children may be very particular about how they eat.
These individuals work hard throughout their lives to better understand the confusing social world around them. It is also critical that others try to understand this syndrome. Knowledge and understanding can help bridge the gap between individuals with Asperger’s and those who interact with them. This key link can aid in the development of critical and meaningful relationships. For this reason, the availability of high quality Asperger’s testing and treatment for children and adults can benefit everyone in society.
Positive Characteristics of Aspergers
Positive characteristics of children and adults with Asperger syndrome have been described as beneficial in many professions. These include:
- increased ability to focus on details
- capacity to persevere in specific interests without being swayed by others’ opinions
- ability to work independently,
- recognition of patterns that may be missed by others,
- an original way of thinking.
Asperger’s test for Children and Adults
We offer testing for Asperger’s with our skilled doctors at the Sachs Center, both online and in-person. The Asperger’s test takes two hours and includes a clinical interview to learn about past and current symptoms. We also offer specific evidence-based Asperger’s tests from third-party researchers.
The Sachs Center has groups for both adults and children with Autism. Offering safe spaces and custom-designed experiences, our groups allow teens and adults to connect and share their unique neurodiverse perspectives. This is a key part of Asperger’s testing and treatment.
The Sachs Center also has online support groups for adults with Asperger’s. Call or email us for information on that group.
We offer a unique for African-Americans with ASD called BASE. The Black Autism Spectrum Experience (BASE) supports African-American adults with High-Functioning Autism and Asperger’s.
BASE Group Therapy
Social difficulties are often the most challenging obstacles for adults with ASD and Asperger’s. This is also compounded by a sense of rejection in the African American community. For this community, mental health problems like Autism have historically been dismissed. Furthermore, there is a lack of accessibility to resources for Asperger’s. BASE group therapy sessions offer African-American individuals with shared struggles the opportunity to connect and learn skills to help navigate social situations. Group topics often include:
- Understanding the feelings of being different.
- Working with and mitigating pressures received from family and society.
- Learning how to understand and process the anxieties of dating and finding a partner.
- Setting healthy boundaries with friends and family.
- Discussing popular social topics that are engaging for patients, like movies and video games.
The Sachs Center maintains connections through the Birch Family Services of Manhattan to strengthen our Asperger’s testing and treatment programs. Using this resource, clients can find supportive and engaging employment opportunities.
Reach out to us below to learn more.
Contact the Sachs Center in Manhattan, New York to learn if you or a loved one has Asperger’s and may be interested in pursuing Asperger’s testing and treatment.