Is Aspergers Hereditary?
Asperger’s Syndrome (AS) is a developmental disorder, and it’s part of a broader category known as Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). According to experts, Asperger’s affects social and communication skills. While children with ASD often have early language delays, children with Asperger’s often have no problem with language skills. Their intelligence also ranges between normal and average.
However, children with AS may develop strange speech patterns and have difficulty understanding some aspects of a conversation, such as:
Many children with Asperger’s Syndrome are mainly interested in one topic or object. During a conversation, they may use complex statistics or intricate vocabulary.
Generally, people with Asperger’s Syndrome may lack coordination and appear clumsy due to delayed motor skills. Children with this disorder may also have difficulty relating with their peers, develop inappropriate social or emotional behavior, and engage in monotonous routines.
Effects of Asperger’s Syndrome in Adults
Asperger’s Syndrome increases the chances of getting depression, anxiety disorders, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), among other mental illnesses, in both children and adults. A person with Asperger’s Syndrome may look as smart as other folks but have more problems with social skills.
Is Asperger’s hereditary? Previously, doctors thought the disorder existed on its own as a separate condition. However, as research evolved, Asperger’s Syndrome was included in a broader category of autism spectrum disorders. All the same, its symptoms are less severe than other types of ASDs.
The actual cause of Asperger’s is not clear. However, it has strong genetic connections, which means it exists within families. Besides, some health experts believe that multiple factors contribute to its occurrence, including environmental factors. Other contributing factors are:
- Parent’s age
- Perinatal and obstetric events
- Fetal environment
- Toxic exposure
To determine the chances of a person developing Asperger’s Syndrome, people undergo a genetic test to analyze the mutations linked to the disease. This allows individuals with the condition to take measures that inhibit their exposure to environmental factors.
Overall, while Asperger’s Syndrome is not hereditary, one can inherit the genetic factors that can increase the chances of its development. So to answer the question as to whether Asperger’s Syndrome is hereditary or not, research has confirmed that the disorder is not hereditary. All the same, the condition develops due to the participation of genetic factors.
Symptoms of Asperger’s Syndrome
Symptoms of Asperger’s Syndrome show up early in life. For instance, children with the condition may not make eye contact. The child may also appear awkward in social situations and may not know how to respond or what to say when someone engages them addresses them.
Additionally, children with this condition may lack typical social cues like body language or facial expressions. They also show few emotions. For example, they may not laugh at a joke or even smile when they’re happy. Sometimes they may speak flatly like a robot, without any sense of humor.
Obsession also starts early in life. For example, a child with Asperger’s Syndrome may talk about themselves most of the time while putting in a lot of interest on a single subject like football stats, rocks, or cars. Usually, the victims repeat themselves a lot, mainly when discussing a topic they’re interested in.
Treatment of Asperger’s Syndrome
Asperger’s Syndrome treatment depends on the person’s age and specific needs. Health experts recommend starting treatment for this condition as early as possible. In most cases, many people with Asperger’s Syndrome often learn to manage their symptoms.
Treatment may include a combination of methods, including speech and language therapy, behavioral therapy, mental health counseling, and more. Affected individuals may also take medications for behavioral or mood disorders.
How to Get a Diagnosis for Asperger’s Syndrome
If your child shows signs of Asperger’s Syndrome, such as those mentioned in this article, you should see a pediatrician. Once you report to a pediatrician, you can be referred to a mental health expert specializing in ASDs:
- Psychologist: to diagnose and treat problems with behavior and emotions
- Developmental pediatrician: To treat problems with speech and language issues and other developmental issues
- Pediatric neurologist: to treat conditions of the brain
- Psychiatrist: to treat mental health conditions and prescribe medication to treat them
Overall, treatment for Asperger’s Syndrome is a team approach. It might involve seeing more than one expert alleviate the condition. When you visit the experts, they might ask questions about your child’s behavior, such as:
- Prevalent symptoms and when you first noticed them
- How does the child communicate, and when did they learn to speak?
- Is the child focused on any subjects or activities?
- How do they interact with others?
- Does the child have friends?
The expert might need to observe the child in different situations to assess how they behave and communicate. There is no one-size-fits-all approach, as each child is different.
A multi-pronged approach for the treatment for Asperger’s Syndrome would involve the following:
Social skills training
This method may involve group or one-on-one sessions where therapists show your child how to relate with others and express themselves appropriately. Experts instill this skill by modeling after a typical behavior.
This treatment helps improve the child’s communication skills. The child learns how to engage in a conversation and use body language and facial expressions.
This treatment helps the child change their way of thinking, leading to better control of their emotions and repetitive behaviors. The child learns how to deal with outbursts, meltdowns, and obsessions.
FDA has not explicitly approved any medication for Asperger’s Syndrome. Some medications could help alleviate conditions such as depression or anxiety.
Some recommended medicines include antipsychotic drugs, stimulant medicines, and others.
So Is Asperger’s Syndrome Hereditary or Not?
Based on research findings, this condition arises largely from genetic influence. Fortunately, parents can help their children manage it when diagnosed early. Parents of children diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome can learn many techniques that experts teach the children to apply at home through education and training.
It would also be essential to see a counselor help deal with the challenges of living with someone with Asperger’s Syndrome.