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What is Asperger's disease?

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According to WebMD, Asperger's syndrome is not a disease; it is a complex neurodevelopment disorder also classified as an autism spectrum disorder. It affects a child's social and communication skills and is a lifetime condition, although symptoms can improve over time. Asperger's cannot be prevented and its cause is unknown. Hans Asperger, a Viennese child psychologist, identified and published the syndrome's characteristics and behavior patterns in 1944.

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The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke states that although there is no standardized testing available, general diagnosis is conducted in a two-step process. Asperger's syndrome symptoms appear in early childhood, usually by the age of 3. These include difficulty relating to others and a lack of coordination. Other possible symptoms include being disturbed by loud noises or bright lights, preferring a routine, not recognizing verbal and nonverbal clues and having limited interests.

Improvement is possible with treatment such as social skills training, cognitive and behavioral therapy, medication, physical therapy, specialized speech and language therapy. Studies show that autism spectrum disorder has been recognized in one out of every 110 children in the United States. According to MedicineNet, Asperger's syndrome is five times more common in boys than girls. More numbers are likely being reported because of improved diagnostic programs.

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