Asperger’s and Other Childhood Disorders

I have people in my life and family whom I suspect are somewhere on the Asperger’s scale, although their diagnosis is not ‘official.’ In other words, they have symptoms of the disorder but have not been to a psychologist who may  have made that pronouncement.

If you were brought to this blog because you entered ‘Asperger’s Syndrome’ in a Google search and you are interested in finding out about the disorder, especially for a child, I recommend the book, Asperger’s Answer Book by Susan Ashley, Ph.D.  I found this book while tutoring at a ‘special needs’ school- a school with many students on the Asperger’s scale. It is a thorough and detailed resource for parents who are struggling with the reality that one of their children has been diagnosed with this disorder.

The disorder is rated on a sliding scale that ranges from mild [Asperger’s Disorder]  to severe [Autistic Disorder.] These two are in fact subgroups of a larger diagnostic category called Pervasive Developmental Disorders. Asperger’s is often undiagnosed yet the child [adult] nonetheless experiences the symptoms of the disorder which, in fact, also impact those associated with the AS person.

Have you ever wondered about yourself? I have. As I think back those many decades to my own childhood, I question my own brain wiring. You know, your wiring can’t be fixed.  Sorry.  Asperger’s Disorder is permanent, like your fingerprints. While there is no ‘cure,’ there are ways of adjusting to the difficulties brought on by the disorder. Of course, children of the 40’s and 50’s were never ‘diagnosed’ with any childhood disorders or, for that fact, not even learning disabilities. Kids were either smart or dumb and perhaps a ‘troublemaker.’

Yet, was that troublemaker a willful troublemaker or was he [they usually were males] suffering from some childhood disorder? Teachers back then dealt with it by a slap on the head or paddling; they didn’t know better.

One of the synister difficulties with Asperger’s is that other conditions often co-exist with Asperger Disorder such as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), depression, anxiety disorders, and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD).  These disorders can mask the Asperger’s because the other co-existing disorders manifest themselves more strongly.  For example, one can vividly ‘see’ ADHD in action.

The other day I suspected that an adult I know not only is somewhere on the Asperger’s scale, but also has OCD and perhaps Anxiety Disorder. Each of these is a major inhibitor of ‘normal’ adult functioning. All three can be disastrous. Life for this person can be, simply, awful. What was their childhood like? What if they did not have nurturing and understanding parents? Yet, of course, what parent is capable of understanding Asperger’s let alone all three combined in their child? Wow!

I wonder how these childhood disorders play out on the global scale. Is the U.S. typical of the rest of the world or do we have more children with disorders? I’ve heard some non-thinking people comment that what we need here in the U.S, is more swats on the rear end for our children. ‘That’s what taught me!’ they exclaim.

Sure it did.


6 thoughts on “Asperger’s and Other Childhood Disorders

  1. Interesting Post, my friend…Since I am looking into physical and mental illnesses, I am going to do some research into Asperger’s.
    I checked out Wikipedia, have you? Sure it is cursory, but the
    article provides much information…

    My initial thinking that it is not genetic, but a problem of the first s months og gestation, as you say, our “wiring” occurs at that time.
    Something possible is happening in those first three months that
    interferes with the currect wiring.

    I am coming to the conclusion, M_R, that when doctors can’t give a reason for a disease, they say it is genetic. It then become the patient’s and their family”s fault for the disease…a convenient out
    for the medical establishment.

    Stay tuned and lets see what we can follow up with….

    1. Thanks for the comment. Regarding inheritance, I am aware of a family with 3 members, 2 generations who are on the scale. One is institutionaized with full-blown autism.

      Imagine the challenges that educators face throughout our nation these days with all of these newly-identified syndromes which can affect the learning ability of students. During my school years, my left-handedness was a challenge to my learning because of my right-brain learning style that was not reflected in the teaching style of those nuns.

      Imagine today’s challenges in the classroom just in brain wiring let alone all of the emotional debris that the child collects from the home environment. Add nutritional deficits and it is a wonder that our students perform as well as they do.

      When I hear some right-winger whine about “the education system” here in the U.S., I’d like him to spend a week in front of the blackboard. Talk is cheap!

  2. Maybe 10 years ago 1 in 105 births was autistic, 5 years ago it was 1 in 88,
    and today it is 1 in 50. If it is progressing like that, there is more at work
    than genetics.
    And, at the other end of the age scale, what is happening to our seniors?
    Alzheimers! Genetics again?

    So, at one end with the children, we have our public school system
    threatened. While at the other end with the “baby-boomer” generation,
    our medical system is threatened with exploding expenditures.

    Plus, we have a jobless recovery, real unemployment is at 14%, most jobs are part time, our cities are collapsing, our infrastructure is crumbling,
    little if anything being done about climate change, environment continuing
    to be eroded, our food and clean safe water threatened. All the while,
    we continue to spend $2.5 Billion per week in Afghanistan and appropriate
    $30 Billion to fortify our southern border.

    And what does the media feed us, racism and political scandal!

    Is there hope? Yes, but it is dwindling fast,

    1. You should ply the streets of Jackson with a sign, “The END is Near!” Well, a letter to the editor would suffice. But that’s a waste of time as well. Why? Because ‘they’ don’t care. They are involved in staying alive, chemically altering their current state, substituting things for reality or deeply believing in some alternate reality. The few who might actually care have little impact on the rest of society.

      What did I read this AM re the Republican Party? Abortion!Yes, that again. Not jobs, not infrastructure repair, not lowering of medical costs, not funding medical research…abortion.


  3. Yep, thanks to the media, to keep the masses “dumbed down”…And
    you and I have so little time left to effective deal with any of these

    Did you read the Pope’s homilies in Rio? Priests are to go outside
    the main doors of their churches and minister to the poor.

    Yep, it is depressing what I wrote about, but I did say there is still time..I ended on hope!

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