Medical Q&As

Asperger's syndrome - help in Ireland?

I would appreciate if you could give me information on Aspergerís syndrome .I have recently been asked by my friend to help her with her young son, a five year old who has a mild form of this illness. Any advice you can give me would be helpful. Also are there courses in Ireland to help parents or others to understand better how to treat these children?

Aspergerís syndrome is named after the Viennese physician who originally described the disorder in the 1940s. There is a great deal of debate about the classification of the disorder. Some specialists maintain that it is the same as high functioning autism, whereas others maintain it should be considered as a form of nonverbal learning disability. People with Aspergerís syndrome can exhibit a variety of characteristics and the disorder can range from mild to severe. They tend to have a normal or above average IQ and may be exceptionally talented or skilled in a particular area. People with Aspergerís syndrome may have a very rich vocabulary but may have great difficulty in using language in a social context because they can often be very literal in their use of words. Some people can be deficient in social skill and may become distressed at times of transition or change. In some cases they may develop obsessive routines and become narrowly focussed on a particular object or subject that interests them. Relationships and communication with other people can be difficult because the affected individual may have particular difficulty with non-verbal communication. People with Aspergerís syndrome may be perceived as being eccentric or odd. Some children can have dyspraxia, which makes them appear to be clumsy. It is extremely important that the childís behaviour be seen as a result of their neurological condition and not due to rudeness or bad parenting. A support group has been established in Ireland specifically for this condition. The group has a website that can be accessed through the following link: