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Does My Child Have Asperger's Syndrome ?

I am an Educational Therapist who works with parents to better understand educational difficulties that their youngster may present from PreK-8th grade. It seems that the term "Aspergers" is a 'popular' word that is being used lately to describe many different kinds of issues. This term is considered by medical doctors to be under the larger umbrella term called "Autism" or Autisic Spectrum Disorders. Some parents as well as educators become very concerned when the word "Autism" is used. Usually, a child under the age of 3, has been diagnosed as having signs and symptoms of Autism, which may include a sudden stopping point in learning. At a later time, with positive training and meeting essential needs, the child is able to learn language, that is, to speak and understand at school and continue to learn at either a regular or an excelled rate. We then begin to say the child has moved from the low end of the total spectrum-Autistic (often with no speech or little academic knowledge) to the higher-end of the Autism spectrum. The term Asperger's Syndrome is a misnomer, that is, it is not a syndrome by itself like other medical terms, instead this term refers to sensory, speech, or language areas that are not yet resolved from the original Autism diagnosis. The major difference in the two terms is that a child speaks and understands language to a functioning extent in daily living when considered to have Asperger's. In fact, some children may be gifted or are functioning in the average or above average range of ability. Other youngsters may have language yet a deficit in comprehension that holds them back from fully functioning in a regular classroom setting. Some students start in Special classes and move into regular classes as appropriate. Every student is different, each one has a pattern of weaknesses and strengths that can become the foundation for further learning accomplishments. Parents and other caregivers who work with a student with Autism, would benefit from some professional training. There are many Autism organizations available to communicate with, regarding academics, social skills, and emotionally-related difficulties. I would appreciate any parents questions or sharing of their stories about this subject.