What is Asperger’s?

So you or your child has been diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome—but what does that actually mean?

While you should refer to your treating professional(s) for specific advice, in general a diagnosis of Asperger’s typically reflects some autism-like difficulties in social and nonverbal interaction but intellectual and verbal skills in normal ranges (it is not an intellectual disability).

No two people with Asperger’s are alike however—they, like all of us, are each uniquely different from one another.

Our aim at Gold Foundation is to recognise this neurodiversity and provide a platform and community where young people with Asperger’s can thrive.

It’s about creating a sense of belonging and harnessing individual abilities, as although a diagnosis of Asperger’s can lead to challenges in some areas in can also lead to advantages in others.

Life with Asperger’s does not have to be a negative as those diagnosed can, and do, live full and happy lives, especially with early intervention.

Asperger Syndrome is usually characterised by:

  • Difficulty with social interactions and communication
  • Restrictive or unusual interests but heightened focus on those interests
  • Reduced ability to see ‘the big picture’, instead focussing on smaller details
  • Possible motor clumsiness and handwriting difficulties
  • Potential hypersensitivity to auditory, visual or tactile experiences
  • Difficulty with executive functioning skills such as time management, organisational skills and explaining ideas verbally
  • Difficulty with sarcasm, deception and idioms (e.g. “It’s raining cats and dogs”)
  • Often seen as the ‘rule police’—they can tell everyone what to do, but can struggle to do it themselves
  • Risks of anxiety and/or depression (particularly if undiagnosed)

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