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Dr. Steve
Dr. Steve, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 370
Experience:  19 years conducting therapy; book author; newspaper columnist; former co-host of radio show
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What interventions are available for Aspergers?

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What interventions are available for Aspergers?


Great question. there are a few interventions that are pretty standard for intervening with a person with Asperger's. They are:

(1) medication. SSRIs are common, particularly for those folks whose anxiety (some anxiety is ALWAYS present in folks on the spectrum) is unmanageable, or makes progress impossible.

(2) social skills training. Teaching the basic building blocks of social interaction... and I'm not talking about huge, epiphany kinds of skills - Rather, I mean simple stuff like personal space, the mechanics of normal exchanges (how to shake hands, for example), and the requisite verbiage to accompany such an exchange.

(3) recognition of emotions. A lot has gone into studying how Asperger's kiddos "read" people's expressions. In general, they tend to "read" from the nose down rather than from the nose up, thereby limiting the accuracy of their interpretations. Going through charts of photos to help categorize the recognition is an extremely common therapeutic technique.

(4) and finally, repetition. Asperger's folks do not learn from social observation like folks not on the spectrum, and so they do not receive the number - or the quality - of reinforcing events that everyone else does. Therefore, they need a lot more repetition before the technique you are teaching gets folded into their repertoire.

That is a basic overview, best of luck. If you are satisfied with the response, please hit "Accept." That is the only way I can receive credit for my answer. Thanks-

Dr. Steve

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Is the treatment the same for an adult with AS?

Thanks for the reply. And yes, the interventions are the same, although the level of sophistication regarding the social skills training will vary depending upon the level achieved by the client. In other words, if they have made a lot of the necessary adjustments, then the training will not have to be so basic, and we can "graduate" to more skills and "reads."

Dr. Steve

Customer: replied 7 years ago.

What is the difference between autism and aspergers?

Is there resources/support for people with AS?

Hello again:

No difference... Asperger's lies on the milder end of the continuum of the Autism Spectrum... for example, Dustin Hoffman's "Rainman" would lie on the more severe/profound end. The symptoms tend to be similar, differing mainly in severity.

As for resources, a wonderful starting point is the Autism Society of America. Here is a link to their website.

Best of luck! If you are satisfied with the response, please hit "Accept." That is the only way I can receive credit for my answer. Thanks-

Dr. Steve

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