My son tells his friends that he has Asperger’s and that it is like Autism but different. I am sure they all completely understand what it is now!! There are complete books on this topic but here is some brief information for you. Asperger’s Syndrome is a disorder on the Autism Spectrum however it currently has a separate diagnosis in the DSM-IV. In the proposed DSM-V it will all be one diagnosis. Every person with ASD has different struggles and appears different from the next. Most people diagnosed with Asperger’s have difficulties in communication to some degree or another. They usually have difficulty understanding the behavior of others and are usually very literal. They hate change. They usually have a tendency towards specific interests, almost an obsession. Some affected by Asperger’s struggle with sensory integration. Managing moods and emotions are also difficult for them.
My son for example refuses to go to the high school cafeteria. The cafeteria is chaotic, noisy and possibly has odors that he notices more than other people. He may have difficulty figuring out where he is to go in line (there are different lines depending what you want to buy). He would probably then become anxious and would then find it difficult to go ask someone what he is supposed to do. If he made it through the line the next obstacle would be finding somewhere to sit. (remember his brain is still trying to correctly process all of the noises and smells that are amplified in his mind) The high school cafeteria is mixed with all grade levels and the group he sat with last year is not in his same lunch. He would not know how to approach a group due to anxiety and difficulties with social skills. He may then become confused and unsure what to do. At this point his anxiety is climbing through the roof. If in that moment someone bumps into him he may think it is on purpose and lash out at them, scream, hide under a table, or all of the above. He doesn’t mean to react this way and that is why he avoids the cafeteria. He knows it is too much for him.
These kids deserve kindness and understanding. They are truly wonderful individuals who have great potential. They are: