Asperger's Disorder "Fact Sheet"
From the NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF NEUROLOGICAL DISORDERS AND STROKE (NINDS) National Institute of Health
The first thing you will notice is that the original page/link is no longer, um, working... hmmmm, that's a surprise, eh? Not to worry...
INTRODUCTION & BACKGROUND INFORMATION: Aspergers Syndrome (AS) was invented by the APA (American Psychiatric Association) and was in their DSM along with so many other invented disabilities. I (and others) spoke out and Aspergers was subsequently disinvented, removed from the DSM. Unfortunately, hundreds of thousands or even millions of humans are walking around this planet believing they or their child has Asperger's Syndrom, whatever it is.
I challenge you to read every word of this.
Defend the existence of AS if you can; find any real research to support AS if you can. Then speak out! Who, in addition to, um, me, will have the courage to speak out regarding the validity (or lack thereof) of AS?
The following "facts" are from the NINDS website. Bold Red indicates my observations, comments, and questions.
Asperger syndrome (AS) is a developmental disorder oh really? that is characterized by: (1) limited interests or an unusual preoccupation with a particular subject to the exclusion of other activities that means they really like to skateboard and they hate math
• repetitive routines or rituals they prefer a well-run classroom, if not, they get bored
Parents usually sense there is something unusual about a child with AS by the time of his or her third birthday, but most often they aren't sure their child has AS until he's formally misdiagnosed by an overzealous IEP team when he's in the fourth grade and some children may exhibit symptoms as early as infancy yet most children won't be misdiagnosed with AS until the fourth grade. Unlike children with autism,* children with AS retain their early language skills do they have language deficits or not?. Motor development delays, crawling or walking late, clumsiness, are sometimes sometimes? If not that, then what? the first indicator of the disorder. What would be another first indicator of this, um, syndrome?
The incidence of AS is not well established, obviously not much of any of this is well established but experts who are these "experts" and where is their "research?" in population studies conservatively that's right, it's probably more like four out of every 10,000 children estimate that two out of every 10,000 children have the disorder is it really a "disorder?" -- I thought it was a "syndrome". Boys are three to four times more likely than girls to have AS. of course they are... you don't want to be a boy and not be able to throw a baseball...
Studies of children with AS suggest that their problems with socialization and communication continue into adulthood many children have problems with socialization and communication -- that's what education and speech therapy are for. Some of these children develop additional psychiatric symptoms and disorders if you believe in that kind of stuff in adolescence and adulthood just like the rest of the population.
Although diagnosed mainly in children but in only 2 out of every 10,000 children, AS is being increasingly diagnosed in adults why not? Here's a gift for you -- not only do you have adult ADHD, but you have Aspergers too! Go home and celebrate! You hit the jackpot! who seek medical help for mental health conditions such as depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) so that a lot more money can be made. No studies no studies...? It's probably something like three out of every 10,000 then have yet been conducted to determine the incidence of AS in adult populations. or child populations... maybe it's five out of 10,000...
Why is it called Asperger syndrome?
In 1944, an Austrian pediatrician named Hans Asperger observed four FOUR!!! FOUR??? ONLY FOUR!!!!!????? children in his practice who had difficulty integrating socially. Although their intelligence appeared normal, the children lacked nonverbal communication skills, failed to demonstrate empathy with their peers, and were physically clumsy. let me get this straight... they had a hard time making friends in the clinical setting, they had normal intelligence, they couldn't throw a baseball, and they, uh, lacked empathy toward other weird kids... sounds pretty serious to me... Their way of speaking was either disjointed or overly formal, and their all-absorbing interest egocentrism is developmentally expected in young children in a single topic dominated their conversations. Dr. Asperger called the condition “autistic psychopathy” now that has a nice pleasant ring to it, eh? and described it as a personality disorder is it a personality disorder or a genetic syndrome? primarily marked by social isolation. well, okay then. This was 1944, in [wartime] Austria!!!!!? Nowadays, everyone's seemingly socially isolated... it's us vs. them -- or I should say, me vs. you in America in 2008. Do you know America is spending $4000 per minute on the Iraq occupation? That fact alone doesn't make me want want to um,... fit in with the rest of you who went along with this. I guess I probably have AS too. Maybe these shell-shocked AS boys are just petrified they are going to someday go to war?
What are some common signs or symptoms?
The most distinguishing symptom of AS is a child’s obsessive interest in a single object or topic to the exclusion of any other. such children used to be described as "driven" or "motivated." Some children with AS have become experts on vacuum cleaners, makes and models of cars, even objects as odd as deep fat fryers. Let's see... it's, um, now bad to become an expert? Are you an expert at anything? Children with AS want to know everything about their topic of interest and their conversations with others will be about little else maybe those topics are more interesting to them than the things you choose to talk about, like homework, following your rules, tucking in their shirt, and how you used to walk four miles to school, for example Their expertise, high level of vocabulary, and formal speech patterns make them seem like little professors. "Little professor" used to be a good thing back in the good old days... too bad the kid can't throw a baseball... then he would have some worth in modern American times.
Children with AS will gather enormous amounts of factual information about their favorite subject and will talk incessantly about it, but the conversation may seem like a random collection of facts or statistics, with no point or conclusion. Like our ex-president? Does George Bush have AS?
Their speech may be may be? let's toss a coin just to make sure marked by a lack of rhythm, an odd what's "odd" to you? I think it's odd that you buy into any of this inflection, or a monotone pitch. Children with AS often 63.28 percent of the time? lack the ability to modulate the volume of their voice to match their surroundings. For example, they will have to be reminded to talk softly every every time? Every single time? time they enter a library or a movie theater what about when they enter a game at Dodger Stadium? Do they have to be reminded to talk softly at a Green Day concert? Just provide speech therapy twenty -- no, thirty -- minutes per session, twice a week. And buy the kid some headphones.
Unlike the severe but what about "mild" autism? withdrawal from the rest of the world that is characteristic of the 359% increase in children who are misdiagnosed with autism, children with AS are isolated because of their poor social skills and narrow interests that means they spend all their time on the internet, playing video games, or aren't interested in signing up to fight your War in Iraq. In fact, they may approach other people, but make normal conversation impossible by inappropriate or eccentric behavior, or by wanting only to talk about their singular interest. Steve Jobs fixated on his interests too.
Children with AS usually usually? Do you have any data to back that up? How often is "usually?' 51% of the time? have a history of developmental delays in motor skills that means they can't throw a baseball such as pedaling a bike, catching a ball, or climbing outdoor play equipment. They are often awkward and poorly coordinated with a walk that can appear either stilted or bouncy well, which is it, stilted or bouncy? If you don't play sports, there must be something, you know, wrong with you. Heaven help you if you are a boy in America who can't throw a baseball... you must be some kind of a, a, Asperger's kind of kid if you don't have what it takes to become a good shortstop or soldier.
What causes AS? Is it genetic?
Current research please cite this "research" points to brain abnormalities yeah, right as the cause of AS give me a break*****. Using advanced brain imaging techniques yeah, right, scientists is it doctors, scientists, or who? have revealed structural and functional differences in specific regions of the brains of normal versus AS children. These defects are most likely caused by the abnormal migration of embryonic cells during fetal development that affects brain structure and “wiring” and then goes on to affect the neural circuits that control thought and behavior. The typical parent reading this might buy this, but I don't. What's wrong with my kid? He's not the starting quarterback on the football team! It must be AS!!! Why won't the school recognize that my child has AS?
*****Okay... I just can't let that statement stand on it's own without following-up a little more. Let's see what www.aspergers.com/aspbiol.htm ("What is the biology of Asperger's Syndrome?") has to say about current research and brain anomalies:
"Despite the now widely accepted fact that biological factors are of crucial importance in the etiology of autism, so far the brain imaging studies have shown no consistent pattern, no consistent evidence of any type of lesion, and no single location of any lesion in subjects with autistic symptoms. This inconsistency in the results of various brain imaging studies has been attributed to the fact that people with autism. represent a highly heterogeneous group in terms of underlying pathology. Therefore there is an ongoing effort to specify more homogenous subgroups among autistic individuals to enhance the accuracy of etiologic inquiry. In real language, there is no validity to any of this at this time, This approach has been supported with the inclusion of the diagnosis 'Asperger's Disorder' in the Fourth Edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV) of the American Psychiatric Association. And we all know there ain't much research supporting most what's included in the DSM-IV.
Associated medical conditions such as fragile-X syndrome Fragile-X is associated with mental retardation and maleness -- not autism or AS, at least when it first came out from Denver Childrens' Hospital in the '80's, if you remember, tuberous sclerosis, neurofibromatosis, and hypothyroidism are less common in Asperger's Disorder than in classical autism. Therefore it may be expected that there are fewer major structural brain abnormalities associated with Asperger's Disorder than with autism or maybe none at all?. To our knowledge, a very small number of structural brain abnormalities have been so far associated with Asperger's Disorder, which include left frontal macrogyria, bilateral opercular polymicrogyria, and left temporal lobe damage. On the other hand brain imaging techniques like positron emission tomography (PET), and single photon emission tomography (SPECT) which provide information about the functional status of brain may be more helpful in determining the brain dysfunction in individuals with Asperger's Disorder. Detailed neuropsychological testing may support these findings providing information about the performances of individual right or left hemispheric brain regions. The first SPECT study in a patient with Asperger's Disorder was published by the host of this page and his colleagues, and found left parietooccipital hypoperfusion. Continuation of research in Asperger's Disorder with various brain imaging techniques in coordination with neuropsychological evaluation in larger samples is clearly needed in this area." because there is no supporting research at the present.
For example, one which one? study found a reduction of brain activity in the frontal lobe of AS children when they were asked to respond to tasks that required them to use their judgment they were probably thinking, "how did I ever get stuck in this laboratory with a bunch of weird people who think I'm the weird one?". Another study found differences in activity when children were asked to respond to facial expressions that proves it then. A different study investigating brain function in adults with AS previously you said there is no research that has proven AS exists in adults revealed abnormal levels of specific proteins that correlate with obsessive and repetitive behaviors. Are we talking AS or OCD? And remember, correlation is not causation! If the problem is proteins, then maybe the kid needs a nutritionist?
Scientists have always known that there had to be a genetic component to -- of course there is a genetic component... nature and nurture are always involved in everything human -- AS And the other ASDs because of their tendency to run in families. A prevalence of 2 out of 10,000 has allowed you to infer a genetic component? Please let me see that inferential research. If there are only 2 in 10,000, why are there six new fourth graders in each school site in America being diagnosed with this new cool "syndrome?" And why aren't their brothers and sisters and mothers and fathers being diagnosed? Oh, I forgot... they apparently are being diagnosed with this new cool "syndrome."
If you are the school psychologist diagnosing AS, you should feel highly privileged to come into contact with such a unique human being. Think about it... only 2 in 10,000 have this syndrome and you -- YOU -- are the chosen one. Hopefully, you will document, save, and publish all information from your case study so the rest of us can learn. I know that in over twenty years in the field I've never come across a child with AS (although I have seen many who have been misdiagnosed with it), nor have I ever suspected it... I'm anxiously awaiting further information related to this rare syndrome so I can effectively recognize it and diagnose it if and when this 1 in 5000 child comes along.
Additional evidence additional evidence? I haven't seen any evidence yet... do you believe any of this? for the link between inherited genetic mutations oh, now it's a genetic mutation? and AS was observed in the higher incidence of family members who have behavioral symptoms similar to AS but in a more limited form you mean they like to watch tv or surf the internet?. For example, they had slight -- slight? You and I have slight difficulties with social interaction, language, or reading. slight? If it's a slight problem, it's not a disability.
How is it misdiagnosed? I can't wait to hear this one...
The diagnosis of AS is complicated I'd say! by the lack of a standardized diagnostic screen or schedule I know AS exists, I just have no reliable or valid way to diagnose it!!!!!!! Still, I'll keep misdiagnosing it 'cause I know it must exist and it's money in the bank for me. In fact, because there are several screening instruments in current use, each with different criteria, the same child could receive different diagnoses, depending on the screening tool the doctor uses. That's exactly what I'm saying -- do you realize that the student is AS in one school, ADHD in the next, SLD down the street, OCD across town, and biploar in the next county? Does that work for you? Apparently it does. Are you okay with that? I'm not.
To further complicate the issue, some doctors believe believe? BELIEVE? I thought this was a SCIENCE!!! that AS is not a separate and distinct disorder ahah!. Instead, they call it high-functioning autism (HFA), and view it as being on the mild end of the ASD spectrum with symptoms that differ -- only in degree -- from classic autism oh. Some clinicians use the two diagnoses, AS or HFA, interchangeably I personally prefer TIABOS. This makes gathering data about the incidence of AS difficult duh since some children will be diagnosed with HFA instead of AS, and vice versa. or whatever.
Most doctors I really don't care what these new DSM-IV doctors are doing -- why are school psychologists and IEP teams buying into any of this? rely on the presence of a core group of behaviors behaviors? Are we talking about behaviors or a faulty gene? to alert them to the possibility of a diagnosis of AS via the following definitive behavioral observations which most certainly will prove the child has AS. These are:
The diagnosis of AS is a two-stage process I can't wait to hear this one. The first stage begins with developmental screening during a “well-child” check-up with a family doctor or pediatrician. The second stage is a comprehensive team evaluation by who, the IEP team while the kid is in the fourth grade? If this is such a horrible disease (i.e., syndrome), why can't the doctor, who is apparently using the DSM-IV (i.e., not medical approaches), good enough to make the call? An IEPT can't make a decision any better than anyone else to rule in or out a nonexistent "syndrome" to either rule in or rule out AS. This team generally includes a psychologist, neurologist, psychiatrist, speech therapist, and additional professionals who have expertise in diagnosing children with AS. Does that sound like your IEP team? who is the "expert" at diagnosing AS in your district? the school nurse? the speech therapist? It ain't me. I've never seen or suspected an AS child. I guess the "experts" are the ones who are willing to get paid to diagnose it, just like the ADHD "experts."
Are there treatments available?
Are there "treatments" for Republicans? What will cure spring fever? Who will discover the cure for senioritis? Is there a treatment for a .193 batting average? What can ever cure a shopaholic? What must be done to make this AS kid unweird?
An effective treatment program builds on the child’s interests, offers a predictable schedule, teaches tasks as a series of simple steps, actively engages the child’s attention in highly structured activities, and provides regular reinforcement of behavior THIS IS HOW YOU RAISE ALL CHILDREN! THIS IS CALLED SOCIALIZATION AND SETTING LIMITS! IT'S WHAT LOVING PARENTS DO FOR THEIR CHILD! IT'S WHAT GOOD TEACHERS PROVIDE FOR THEIR STUDENTS!. This kind of program generally includes:
With effective treatment (without effective treatment, he might never reach the major leagues), children with AS can learn to cope with their disabilities, but they may still find social situations and personal relationships challenging just like you and me, especially if we live in the U.S.. Many adults with AS I thought there was no research to support adults with AS are able to work successfully in mainstream jobs so AS is not really a problem after all, although they may continue to need encouragement and moral support to maintain an independent life. just like you and me
What research is being done? I'm not sure I can go on...
The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) is one of the federal government’s that's all we need -- still another disability invented by our government leading supporters of biomedical research on brain and nervous system disorders sounds like someone's making a lot of money. The NINDS conducts research in its laboratories at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, Maryland and awards grants to support research (I wonder if they would award me a grant? I might be able to prove that there is no such thing as AS. Maybe I'll apply...) at universities and other facilities. Many of the Institutes at the NIH, including the NINDS, are sponsoring research to understand what causes AS maybe they should first research whether or not AS even exists? and how it can be effectively treated. All right, sounds great so far.... maybe they can convince even me, a skeptical social scientist, that 2 out of 10,000 students have AS... let's see if they can:
One study is using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to show how abnormalities in particular areas of the brain cause changes in brain function that result in the symptoms of AS and other ASDs I wonder how that'll turn out?. Another large-scale study is comparing neuropsychological and psychiatric oh no, by psychiatric, do you mean they're using the DSM-IV? assessments of children with possible diagnoses of AS or HFA to those of their parents and siblings to see if there are patterns of symptoms that link AS and HFA to specific neuropsychological profiles. You can always find correlations in family studies. You know, something like, "Dad developed a keen interest in kayaking -- I developed a keen interest in computer programming... wow! Can you believe it? We both developed keen interests! We both have AS! Like father like son. What are the chances of that? Probably something like only 2 out of 10,000! Wow!
NINDS is also supporting a long-range international study that brings together investigators to collect and analyze DNA samples from children with AS and HFA, as well as their families, to identify associated genes and how they interact. Called the Autism Genome Project, that sounds impressive -- that convinces me! it’s a consortium of scientists from universities, academic centers, and institutions around the world that functions as a repository for genetic data so that researchers can look for the genetic “building blocks” of AS and the other ASDs. ...and, ultimately, through consensus, determine what AS truly is.
Since there are so many different forms of ASD I thought there were only two -- is that really proven, or just your assumption? You haven't yet convinced me, understanding the genetic basis of each belief opens the door to opportunities for more money precise diagnosis I hope so and treatment. Knowing the genetic profile sounds like an advertisement for neuropsychs of a particular disorder is it a disorder, syndrome, condition, mutation, behavior, or what? could mean early identification of those at risk, and early intervention when treatments and therapies are likely to be the most successful for this imaginary syndrome.
Where can I get more information?
For more information on neurological disorders or research programs funded by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, contact the Institute's Brain Resources and Information Network (BRAIN) at:
*Note: with the new DSM-V, the APA is now going to say that Aspergers is instead autism? A form of autism? Mild autism? Or some new clever explanation... is it autism, mild autism, something else? They're just guessing and they should be ashamed of themselves. I hope you skeptically read stuff from these people. I guess I was right on this one, eh? And I'm right on most of these invented disabilities (the list goes on and on -- ADHD, internet addiction, gender identity confusion...) in the DSM from our friends in the clinical field who are hoping to get your kid into a lifetime of therapy and on a schedule of medications to make a lot of people rich. Don't believe me... just read this stuff and think... and remember how much money is involved in these ongoing grants to study these, um, um, new disabilities.
Additional information related to the misdiagnosis of invented disabilities is always available at www.xpsych.com.
Positive Recommendation: School and mental health professionals are encouraged to have some sort of scientific evidence at your disposal when you forward your diagnosis. Take a professional and ethical stand right now and refuse to diagnose Aspergers unless and until there exists any kind of real science or research to back it up.
MAH © 2009-16, 2018-2025. Donald J. Asbridge, Ed.S. XPsych.com. Bakersfield, CA USA. Some rights reserved.