Understanding Asperger's Syndrome-Part 1

This week at Imagine Hope we are discussing Asperger’s Syndrome.  Asperger’s Syndrome is a higher functioning condition on the Autism Spectrum.  Individuals with Asperger’s Syndrome can talk, attend mainstream schools, can maintain relationships, and can have jobs. 

However, there are a number of issues specific to those with Asperger’s Syndrome that we hope to highlight this week.  The prevalence of Asperger’s Syndrome is around 5 in every 1,000 people.  There is a very good chance you either work with, are friends with, are married to, or are related to an individual with Asperger’s Syndrome.  We hope this information is helpful as you work to navigate relationships and communication with those with Asperger’s Syndrome.  

Sensory Processing Problems/Overstimulation

Similar to those with Autism Spectrum Disorder, individuals with Asperger’s Syndrome may struggle with sensory issues.  Everyday noises, touches, smells, and tastes can be very triggering and overstimulating.  This can be as simple as a sock feeling itchy/painful, to a click ticking, to overstimulation while having sex.  When those with Asperger’s Syndrome become overstimulated, they may either shut down, lash out, or have a breakdown.

The best ways to prevent sensory issues or overstimulation in those with Asperger’s Syndrome are to address each of the triggers.  If clothes cause sensory problems during the day, it’s best to dress for comfort and choose clothing that is not too tight or is very soft.  If noise is too much stimulus, wearing headphones or going to a quiet place can prevent a breakdown.  Each individual is different and may need to find what their own triggers are and what accommodations work for them.  Therapy and medication may also be helpful.

Check back in this week as we discuss more issues related to Asperger’s Syndrome.  Thanks for reading!    

Written by Christy Fogg, MSW, LCSW

Christy Fogg, MSW, LCSW is a licensed therapist at Imagine Hope Counseling Group. Christy enjoys doing marriage counseling, individual counseling, couples and relationship counseling. Christy also provides family counseling, child counseling, and adolescent counseling.

Imagine Hope serves the Indianapolis area, including the surrounding areas of Carmel, Fishers, Noblesville, Zionsville, and Westfield.