There’s no cure for Asperger’s syndrome. The disease therefore lasts a lifetime, but the affected person can be completely symptom-free. The duration of treatment depends on the severity of the symptoms and the level of suffering of the person affected and his family. Furthermore, treatment may be prolonged due to other mental illnesses. It is possible that a terminated therapy is resumed due to effective behaviour therapy in the context of a life crisis or snowballing events such as the death of a close relative, divorce or change of job.
Problems at school
Children with Asperger’s syndrome often have an above average intelligence quotient. However, as they often have a special talent in a particular area, they usually lack interest in other areas. Since the high aptitude and specialization can only be really lived out in the job, this leads to problems at school.
The lack of interest in other areas leads, in addition to concentration problems, to poor school grades despite high intelligence. Furthermore, children with Asperger’s syndrome have social problems at school. Their behaviour can lead to social isolation and exclusion.
Here, professional behavioral therapy is very important to accompany everyday school life. In childhood, the accompanying psychological disease, the attention deficit hyperactivity syndrome (ADHD), is also of particular importance. This is a mental illness in childhood that is characterized by a lack of attention in class.
In addition, these patients find it harder to concentrate than others and thus tend to fail to complete tasks. Besides psychotherapy, the therapy consists of the administration of phenylphenidate, known as Ritalin. This drug belongs to the group of amphetamines and can increase the attention of the affected person by activating the sympathetic nervous system.
Asperger’s syndrome in adults
Asperger’s syndrome in adults is characterized by difficult social interaction, stereotypical actions and special talents, just as in childhood. While Asperger’s syndrome is often diagnosed in childhood, there are also cases in which the disease only becomes noticeable in adulthood. Here the trigger can be a life crisis.
The reasons for this are often the death of a close relative, divorce or unemployment. Often the social deficits in the job or in relationships become apparent here. Here, too, there may be accompanying psychological disorders that may even precede the diagnosis of Asperger’s syndrome or make it more difficult to diagnose the syndrome.
A therapy of the Asperger-Syndrome is only necessary if the affected person is suffering from the disease. If the person is socially and professionally well integrated, it may be that a therapy is not necessary. A serious problem for adults with Asperger’s syndrome can be the lack of empathy in relationships. Asperger’s patients can tend to live out their sexual fantasies as they wish, without taking their partner into consideration. This can lead to social exclusion in addition to the failure of relationships.