Asperger’s Syndrome “Not ANOTHER diagnosis!”
Asperger’s Syndrome was first identified in 1944, but was only officially recognized as a diagnostic category in the DSM IV in 1994. As a result, many children were misdiagnosed over the years as ADD/HD, Autistic, OCD or even schizophrenic.
Many different terms are currently applied, leading to great confusion on the part of parents and educators. Asperger’s Syndrome may also be referred to as High Functioning Autism (HFA), Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD), Pervasive Developmental Disorder - Not Otherwise Specified (PDD - NOS), Atypical PDD or even Nonverbal Learning Disability (NLD).
There is still debate as to exactly how Asperger’s Syndrome should be classified. In addition, it is not always an easy, clear cut diagnosis to make. As a result, diagnostic errors continue to be made and this often affects treatment, as well as access to appropriate help and information.
Parents may find themselves going from one doctor to another, becoming more and more confused and frustrated in their attempts to help their child. (See bottom of the page for information about Natural Remedies for Asperger’s Syndrome)
What is Asperger’s Syndrome?
Asperger’s Syndrome is a neurobiological disorder which is classified as one of the Pervasive Developmental Disorders (PDD). It is characterized by significant impairment in social interaction, as well as the development of repetitive and restricted fields of interest, activities and interests.
While there are some similarities with Autism, people with Asperger’s usually have average to above average IQ, and do not demonstrate clinically significant delays in language or self help skills.
While they may have an extremely good command of language and have a very rich vocabulary, they are unable to use language appropriately in a social context and often speak in a monotone, with little nuance and inflection in their voice.
Children with Asperger’s may or may not seek out social interaction, but always have difficulty in interpreting and learning the skills of social and emotional interaction with others, leading to significant impairment in relationships and peer interaction.
Although parents often notice problems at an early age, diagnosis is usually made during preschool age or later. While both boys and girls can have Asperger’s, the syndrome is more common in boys.
What are the symptoms of Asperger’s Syndrome?
The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM IV) lists the following symptoms for diagnosis of Asperger’s Syndrome (p77)
A. Qualitative impairment in social interaction, as manifested by at least two of the following:
- Marked impairments in the use of multiple nonverbal behaviors such as eye-to-eye gaze, facial expression, body postures, and gestures to regulate social interaction
- Failure to develop peer relationships appropriate to developmental level
- A lack of spontaneous seeking to share enjoyment, interests, or achievements with other people (e.g. by a lack of showing, bringing, or pointing out objects of interest to other people)
- Lack of social or emotional reciprocity
B. Restricted repetitive and stereotyped patterns of behavior, interests, and activities, as manifested by at least one of the following:
- Encompassing preoccupation with one or more stereotyped and restricted patterns of interest that is abnormal either in intensity or Focus
- Apparently inflexible adherence to specific, nonfunctional routines or rituals
- Stereotyped and repetitive motor mannerisms (e.g., hand or finger flapping or twisting, or complex whole-body movements)
- Persistent preoccupation with parts of objects
C. The disturbance causes clinically significant impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning
D. There is no clinically significant general delay in language (e.g., single words used by age 2 years, communicative phrases used by age 3 years)
E. There is no clinically significant delay in cognitive development or in the development of age-appropriate self-help skills, adaptive behavior (other than social interaction), and curiosity about the environment in childhood
F. Criteria are not met for another specific Pervasive Developmental Disorder or Schizophrenia
What are the causes of Asperger’s Syndrome?
It is not known what causes Asperger’s Syndrome, although there appears to be a definite genetic component as it tends to run in families. While there is as yet no clear evidence as to the causes of Asperger’s Syndrome, there may be certain ‘triggers’ which may precipitate the condition.
These include environmental factors like pollution, food intolerances (particularly to foods containing wheat, gluten, sugar and dairy products), Digestive Problems and even childhood Vaccinations (particularly the MMRI).
There are also suggestions that Asperger’s Syndrome may sometimes be linked to high levels of Candida in the gut. Clearly much more research is needed in this area.
One thing is sure - Asperger’s is NOT caused by bad parenting or problems in the family! It is unfortunate that many parents have been made to feel guilty for a neurological disorder which is not their fault.
Is there a cure for Asperger’s Syndrome?
Asperger’s Syndrome can currently not be cured and the condition is lifelong. However, with correct treatment and therapy, many people with Asperger’s can go on to lead normal lives and may even excel in certain areas of occupational functioning.
Can Asperger’s Syndrome be treated?
Yes, most definitely! However, because Asperger’s is a relatively new diagnosis in the field of developmental psychology and psychiatry, many treatment approaches are still in the developmental stages and lots of work still needs to be done in this area.
One thing has definitely been established - the sooner treatment begins, the better! This applies especially to remedial, educational and therapeutic intervention.
While there is no specific treatment or ‘cure’ for Asperger’s Syndrome, there are many interventions which can significantly improve the functioning and quality of life of people and children with Asperger’s.
Social Skills Training
This should be one of the most important components of a treatment program. Children with Asperger’s Syndrome can be helped to learn social skills by an experienced psychologist. Body language and nonverbal communication can be taught in much the same way as one would teach a foreign language.
Children with Asperger’s can learn to interpret nonverbal expressions of emotion and social interaction. This can assist them with social interaction and peer relationships and prevent the isolation and Depression that often occurs as they enter adolescence.
Teenagers can sometimes benefit from group therapy and can be taught how to use the teenage ’slang’ and language forms of their peer groups.
Because children with Asperger’s Syndrome may differ widely in terms of IQ and ability levels, schools should learn to individualize educational programs for these children.
Some of them may cope well in a mainstream class with additional support, while others may need to receive specialized Education. In all cases, teachers should be aware of the special needs of Asperger’s children, who often need a great deal more support than first appears necessary.
Psychotherapeutic approaches which Focus on supportive therapy, the teaching of social skills and concrete behavioral techniques are more effective than approaches which Concentrate on emotional in depth therapy, which may be too uncomfortable and stressful for the person with Asperger’s.
Children can benefit from play therapy and ’story’ therapy aimed at raising awareness of nonverbal communication, development and teaching of empathy and learning of social skills.
Although there is no conclusive evidence, there are strong suggestions that changes in diet may significantly reduce the symptoms of some children with Asperger’s Disorder.
Many parents report that their children become much more manageable when certain classes of food are eliminated from the diet. These include dairy products, sugar, gluten, wheat and some artificial colorants and preservatives like MSG and tartrazine.
It is worthwhile consulting a trained nutritionalist to assist with dietary intervention and parents should not simply eliminate important foods from their children’s diets without expert advice.
Psychopharmacological Interventions or Drug Therapy
Many children and adults with Asperger’s Disorder do not need any form of medication, while others need to be treated symptomatically While there are no specific ‘Asperger’s’ drugs, psychiatric drugs can be used to treat some of the problems which may manifest or be associated with Asperger’s, such as ADD/HD, Depression, Mood Swings, Temper Tantrums, Irritability, Aggression, obsessions and compulsive behaviors and Anxiety.
Many of the drugs used to treat the other Pervasive Developmental Disorders like Autism are also used to treat some of the associated symptoms of Asperger’s. These include Ritalin, Adderall, Paxil, Strattera, Prozac, Risperal and others.
Like many psychiatric drugs, these often come with unwanted side effects and the risk of addiction and their benefits should always be weighed against the potential harm they could cause, particularly in the case of children. Remember that you should always consult your doctor before altering or discontinuing any prescription medication.
It is also important to realize that there are effective herbal and homeopathic alternatives to many of the prescription drugs. As with any medication, it is always best to consult your doctor before changing or discontinuing any prescribed medicines.
Herbal and Homeopathic Remedies can be viable alternatives to the synthetic drugs and may be just as effective, with far fewer risks and side effects.
Depending on the symptoms that need treatment, Native Remedies recommends the following remedies to assist in an overall treatment plan.
Remedies may be used independently or in combination.
These may all be symptoms of serotonin imbalance and may show improvement with the use of our 100% herbal MindSoothe Jr. formula (available in capsules for adults and drops for children).
The ingredients of MindSoothe Jr. have been clinically proven to assist in balancing serotonin levels and act as SSRI’s (Selective Serotonin Re-uptake Inhibitors) in much the same way as the synthetic SSRI’s do.
Tranquilizing drugs may be very effective in calming Autistic children and adults, who can easily become highly distressed and volatile over seemingly small changes in their environment. However, many tranquilizing drugs are also addictive and individuals may build up tolerance, resulting in the need for increasingly higher doses.
PureCalm is a herbal formula which has been especially formulated to calm and soothe children and adults without the risk of side effects and potential addiction.
Available in easy to administer drop form, the dosage may be adjusted to suit children or adults. PureCalm may be taken on its own when needed for quick symptomatic relief, and is also safe to use with most prescription and herbal medicines.
Like the benzodiazepines and tranquilizing drugs, the psycho-stimulants come with documented side effects and potential for dependency. Yet many parents find it very difficult to deal with Asperger’s children who also have symptoms of ADHD,hyperactivity and concentration problems.
Focus ADHD Formula is a 100% Herbal Remedy which has been especially formulated to treat the symptoms of ADHD in children and adults alike. Focus comes in a tincture an is easily administered as drops in some juice or water.
Native Remedies also offers BrightSpark, a safe and effective homeopathic formula. BrightSpark can be effectively used on its own or it can be combined with Focus ADHD Formula for severe or stubborn cases or for children with defiance and anger problems.
Herbal Remedy for tantrums
Many Asperger’s children have violent tantrums, sometimes seemingly without cause. Tantrums may often be a result of the child’s frustration at being unable to communicate or understand, and may also be a response to changes in routine or environment.
Tantrum Tamer, a specially formulated homeopathic remedy, uses proven homeopathic ingredients which can greatly reduce or eliminate distressing and hard to handle tantrums.
Tantrum Tamer dissolves easily in the mouth and is pleasant tasting and readily accepted by children.
Remedies may be used independently or in combination. See bottom of page for discount combination packages
How have these products helped others?
Our son is Asperger’s PDD. He is on Concerta 36 mgs, but he still was having Anxiety and tantrums, and other issues. Since he is on the PureCalm, he has not had a tantrum, and has not displayed many of the behaviors that concern us. He does not have any side effects from the PureCalm, and he’s much calmer!! I can’t describe the relief. - E., Kansas
“Super, Super products. My two children, ages 11 and 6 have Asperger’s Disorder and ADHD. My life was crazy trying everything from Vitamins, minerals, Amino Acids, Color Therapy, NAET, Homeopathy, chelation, and several others. My 6 year old is taking BrightSpark 3X a day. He is sweet and kind again. No more outbursts. The biggest joy is to see my son with Asperger’s giving good advice to his younger brother. He is much more socially appropriate since be began taking MindSoothe and PureCalm.” Lisa, PA
“I felt that I really wanted to write to you to say thank you for the wonderful change that we have seen in my child. I always knew that there was something different about him but we went from doctor to specialist for years with everyone having a different opinion. This really did a lot of damage as well as teachers who did not understand. Finally only last year we saw a wonderful doctor who told us that he had Asperger’s and everything fell into place! We have tried various prescription and natural drugs over the years most of which have not helped or had side effects. I was not happy with this and am so glad to have found a Natural Remedy (MindSoothe, Jr) that finally works. After three months, the Mood Swings have virtually disappeared, the obsessing over things has improved dramatically and he is more responsive and able to listen to what others have to say instead of behaving as if he was on his own planet all the time. What a difference to our household!” Gayle, UK.
My daughter was diagnosed w/PDD.NOS and the doctors put her on prescription medicine which helps ADHD children. She had some side effects so we took her off of it. I found your website and ordered Focus. She is only 5 and I give only in the morning before school w/some juice. After a few weeks on Focus she has been getting much better reports sent home from school and has even been able to discontinue her OT. I feel that Focus along with a small adjustment in her diet has helped more than the prescription meds. the doctor originally had her on - Lisa S., NY
“I would have been the last person to believe that a herbal could help my son who has Asperger’s and just could not cope with even the smallest distraction in class without becoming frustrated and losing concentration. But my wife insisted that Focus had helped her friends child and I thought it would set my wife’s mind at rest to try it, which we did. I am writing to say that I am very impressed at the difference. I can see it when my son does his homework and the reports from school are very positive. I guess I should have listened to my wife long ago - after reading all the information on your web site I have apologized to my wife and my son because I did not really understand what he was going through ” Graham.
“My 6 year old child has Aspergers and has been helped tremendously by using a combination of BrightSpark and Focus. He is a very clever little boy and does well at school but people find him strange because he always talks off the topic and carries on and on about the same thing which no one else is interested in. The other kids laugh at him and he was so angry and upset all the time, with a permanent frown on his face. Its also difficult for him when the other kids distract him in the class and then he becomes angry and blows up! He has even asked the teacher if he can move his desk outside the classroom! Since he has been taking your products, He is much happier now and can do his work more easily. I notice that he is not so much off the point either when he talks about things!” Mathilda H.
“PureCalm really helps my son who is diagnosed with Asperger’s. He is doing quite well in his job and he has even managed to find a wife who understands him which I thought could never happen! Don’t get me wrong, I love my son - but he was never the easiest person to live with due to his Anxiety about everything. When something was stressing him it was as if he just couldn’t let it go and he would become more and more upset. When he gets like this, PureCalm helps him to calm himself and he can even see that he may be worrying for nothing. Thank you for your help and patience in advising me. This is a wonderful service which I am referring to all my friends!” Marge
“I want you to know that I was on the verge of a Nervous breakdown with my son who is 6 and is diagnosed with Aspergers Disorder. Although he has many problems, the worse one for me was when he would begin to shout and break things because something had upset him. Sometimes we didn’t even know what it was. I can hardly believe the difference that your product has made! he has been on the MindSoothe Jr and the Tantrum Tamer for about five weeks and already we can see that the temper that he had is much easier to manage and he seems happier and more settled. When he does begin to shout and throw himself around, we give him the Tantrum Tamer again, which he loves and he is quiet again. This stuff is like a miracle! I am also starting myself on your adult MindSoothe and can already feel the difference.” Freda B.
“We have been using your MindSoothe jr and Serenite Jr.for about 6 weeks and my little boy is sleeping soundly again and is also a lot more responsive to us. As he has aspergers, he did not make eye contact and always struggled to understand what we said even though he is very bright with numbers and shapes and can tell you what any word means. Both my husband and I have noticed a big improvement and it is wonderful not to battle every night. Thanks!” Lindi G.
Asperger’s Natural Treatment Packs
To assist you with your choice of remedies, Native Remedies has put together a number of treatment ComboPacks, based on the problems most commonly associated with Asperger’s Syndrome
All remedies are manufactured according to the highest pharmaceutical standards. Individual ingredients are well-researched and are natural, safe and effective.
Our remedies are backed by our 60-day money-back guarantee so you can experience relief risk-free.