4 Popular Treatment Options for Asperger's Syndrome
Social Skills Training
Children with Asperger's syndrome often have trouble relating socially to their peers. As such, social skills training revolves around a type of group therapy that teaches children how to interact successfully with others. Activity-oriented groups that include your child's interests offer great ways to attain social skills. If your child enjoys nature, consider participating in children's activities sponsored by your local naturalist society or state conservation department. If science interests your child, become a member of a nearby science museum and take classes and tours with other kids.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Cognitive behavioral therapy involves talk therapy with a counselor and parents. This type of treatment may help children who exhibit explosive behaviors, obsessive interests, repetitive routines or anxiousness. Talk therapy includes strategies to help your child better manage emotions. Talk to administrators at your child's school to find a sensitive counselor who works well with children. This counselor may offer an individualized curriculum to help your child develop better social skills.
Speech and Language Therapy
Speech and language therapy assist children who have trouble verbalizing words. A counselor helps your child recognize normal, conversational tones, words and attitudes. Individual sessions may also help a child detect social clues, and counselors may work on behavior modification. Parents and teachers should work with the counselor to develop strategies outside of therapy sessions.
Medications do not alleviate the symptoms of Asperger's syndrome. However, this disorder may lead to psychological problems such as anxiety, depression, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, bipolar disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder. Medicines for hyperactivity include methylphenidate, dextroamphetamine and nortriptyline. A doctor may prescribe mood stabilizers such as lithium, valproate or carbamazepine for children with irritability and aggressive tendencies. Psychiatrists could suggest tricyclic antidepressants such as imipramine, clomipramine or nortriptyline for anxiety. A psychiatrist, as a medical doctor, determines what dosages and medications are appropriate for a child to take.
Although no cure for Asperger's syndrome exists, doctors and mental health professionals believe the sooner children begin the proper course of therapy, the better the prognosis for success. Primary care physicians, psychologists, psychiatrists and trained counselors recommend treatment based on several assessments given to your child. Find out the most popular ways to treat Asperger's based on what researchers know about the disorder.