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What is Asperger’s Syndrome?

Asperger Syndrome, sometimes referred to as Asperger’s, is no longer diagnosed. The DSM-5 removed the Asperger Syndrome diagnosis and folded it into autism spectrum disorder (ASD). It is also sometimes referred to as Level 1 autism spectrum disorder.

When it was still diagnosed, Asperger’s was characterized as a “high-functioning” disorder, with minimal impact on a child’s scholastic and interpersonal experience. Strengths of individuals with Asperger Syndrome can include good focus and attention to detail, while challenges can include hypersensitivity to stimuli, communication difficulties, and physical clumsiness. To learn more, see Ascend Autism’s blog post on Autism Level 1.

Frequently Asked Questions about Asperger Syndrome

How common is Asperger’s?

According to a study by the National Institute of Child Health and Mental Development, 1 in 500 people (0.2% of the population) have some form of Asperger’s. Other more recent studies estimate the figure could be as high as 1 in 250 people (0.4%).

Given that Asperger Syndrome is no longer diagnosed, there aren’t any prevalence studies from recent years. The CDC estimates that 1 in 44 children have been identified with Autism Spectrum Disorder of all levels.

What causes Asperger Syndrome? Is it genetic?

As is the case for all categories of ASD, we do not definitively know the causes of Asperger’s. Many genetic and environmental risk factors have been identified, including:

  1. Advanced age of either parent
  2. Birth complications
  3. Expression of or changes in certain genes. Note that the presence of genes associated with ASD does not mean a person will have autism. While autism spectrum disorder is influenced by genetics, it’s possible for a parent to not have autism and give birth to a child with ASD.

What is Asperger’s called now? Do people still use the term Asperger Syndrome?

Asperger Syndrome is now under the umbrella diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder. Asperger’s is now referred to by some professionals as autism level 1.

While it is no longer officially diagnosed, many people who were originally diagnosed with Asperger’s still identify with the term. In fact, some people with autism level 1 proudly refer to themselves as “Aspies” (although it should be noted that not everyone may be comfortable with this term).

Where does the name Asperger Syndrome come from?

The outdated term Asperger Syndrome got its name from the Austrian pediatrician Hans Asperger, but it wasn’t Hans who picked the name for Asperger’s. It wasn’t until the late 1970s that English psychiatrist Lorna Wing coined the term Asperger’s.

Treatment of Autism Spectrum Disorder, Including Asperger’s

Ascend Autism specializes in the treatment of all levels of autism spectrum disorder. Our comprehensive services are all based on Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) therapy, which is accepted as the most effective intervention for the treatment of ASD in children. We offer all of the following:

Early Intervention

Early Intervention programs for autism aim to treat children aged 18 months to seven years old. The therapy is usually more intensive and consists of a weekly program of 20 to 40 hours of treatment. There is substantial evidence to support that intensive early intervention provides long-term positive outcomes for a child’s physical control, cognitive ability, social skills, emotional regulation, and communication. 

Targeted Intervention

Targeted intervention is designed to focus on more functional activities including hygiene, feeding, chores, and social interaction. This level of treatment usually requires fewer hours of therapy per week (typically 10 to 25 hours).

School Consultation

Our staff works directly with each child as well as with their school to ensure the behavior modification being addressed as part of our autism spectrum disorder treatment program is also effective in the school setting.

Learn More About Our Services

Ascend Autism is here to help families and their children through Applied Behavior Analysis. Beyond the types of treatment listed above, we also offer social skills programsparental training, and telehealth programs

The team at Ascend Autism is dedicated to providing the highest level of treatment for your child. Find out more about our programs today by calling us at 877.323.8668 or completing our secure online form. We offer center-based ABA therapy, in-home, and telehealth services to maximize opportunities.

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