Asperger Syndrome is part of the Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and currently affects 3 in 10,000 people worldwide.
Every February 18 is celebrated as International Asperger Syndrome Day, coinciding with the anniversary of the birth of Hans Asperger (1906-1980), the Austrian psychiatrist who first described the syndrome. Year after year, this date has been marked to give visibility to this disorder that affects the learning and social relationships of many people. Research, integration and support for people with Asperger Syndrome are currently the priority of support associations and medical specialists.
The symptoms of Asperger’s syndrome are manifested in patients through their social behavior, which often presents a barrier to socializing and making friends. This is also described by the expert in Child Neurology Dr. Mas Salguero: “Children who live with Asperger’s syndrome develop a normal use of language, but find it difficult to use it in the same way as other children: their intonation is very monotonous and often gives the impression that they ignore their interlocutor. Even so, they have no problem expressing themselves verbally, but their topics of conversation are often the same, since they have great facility to know many facts about the topics that interest them.”
The importance of integration in Asperger Syndrome.
It is very important to raise the awareness of society, school students, company teams and human resources workers in the support and integration of people with Asperger Syndrome. The first pillar for a child who develops this syndrome is his or her parents, as Dr. Mas Salguero describes: “It should be noted that children with Asperger’s syndrome have a strong attachment to their mother or father, but when they try to open up to others, the situation becomes more complicated” and she highlights the fundamental role of adults in the lack of knowledge that children have about this pathology: “Parents, educators and various health professionals must get involved so that the child with Asperger’s syndrome understands why his or her way of interacting with others is difficult.”
7 tips to help someone with Asperger’s syndrome
To continue helping the social and labor integration of people with Asperger Syndrome, the Confederación Autismo España has published practical tips that we can use every day, small gestures that will help us to understand people with Asperger Syndrome.
- Reflect on the social challenges you face every day and try to put yourself in the place of a person who genuinely does not understand them or know how to deal with them.
- Empathize with their experience, even if it is different from the “conventional”. Ask how best to support him or her. He or she will be able to explain how he or she prefers you to help.
- Take an interest in her likes and interests, her strengths and weaknesses, and the things that are important to her.
- Make explicit some concepts that are obvious to most people, especially those related to social relationships.
- Use direct and concrete language, without ambiguity or double meanings.
- Understand that their behaviors are not capricious or intentional. They reflect a different way of understanding and navigating the world.
- He understands the importance of his routines and “rigidities”. They are elements that provide security. You can help make them more flexible without imposing your way of seeing things.