What is asperger syndrome? | Mental health | NCLEX-RN | Khan Academy


– So Asperger Syndrome or Asperger’s is one of the Autism Spectrum Disorders. And while everyone with Asperger’s is affected a little differently most people with this syndrome have some difficulties
relating to other people. And this stems from having
trouble with social communication and interactions. So let’s draw a few pictures
here to better understand what we mean by trouble with
communication and interactions. So, I’m just going to draw this face here and let’s make this face happy. And now imagine if you
were having a conversation with this person here and all
of a sudden their smile here it turned upside down into a frown. Well, that might indicate to you that something about this conversation, maybe something you said,
or something you did, or maybe something that the
person was thinking about, something upset or
bothered this person here, right, to make them frown. Well, if a person with Asperger’s was having a conversation with someone and their facial expression
changed, like it did here, the person with Asperger’s actually might not really notice this. And that’s because people with Asperger’s have trouble using and understanding these sorts of non verbal behaviours like facial expressions or gestures. And they might continue
on with the conversation as though nothing had changed because this doesn’t
really indicate to them that the person is unhappy. And if we draw a person here and maybe let’s say that
this person is walking by and they say, “Good morning”
and they wave, and smile. Well, for someone with Asperger’s they might not really realize that they’re supposed to return
or reciprocate this gesture by also saying, “Good
morning,” and waving back. It might not really occur to
them that this is something that they’re supposed to do. For someone with Asperger’s it doesn’t really seem
like a required response. And we actually describe
this as trouble with social and emotional reciprocity. And Reciprocity here just
means kind of returning or exchanging something. So in this case, it means
returning the friendly greeting. So this social and emotional reciprocity is kind of like the give
and take of a conversation. It’s what allows us to converse and interact with other people. And this is something that
people with Asperger’s have a lot of trouble with. And let’s draw one final picture here, so let’s say that it just rained and now there’s this really
pretty rainbow in the sky. Well, if you saw that you might have a desire to point it out and share this pretty rainbow
with someone around you. But for someone with Asperger’s
they don’t really have this spontaneous desire to
share something of interest or enjoyment with someone else. So they don’t really point
things out that interest them, or excite them, or share their achievements
with other people. So this trouble with
communication and interaction is one of the main features of Asperger’s. And these different examples here are some ways that this
trouble with communication and interaction can manifest
in someone with Asperger’s. And there’s one other
main feature of Asperger’s and that’s Restricted Interests
and Repetitive Behaviours. So in order for us to see what we mean by Restricted Interests let’s
actually draw a graph here. A graph that shows the level of interest in a few different activities. And you’ll see what I mean in a sec. So on our y-axis here, let’s
make this the Level of Interest so the higher up we are here,
the more interest there is. And on our x-axis here we’ll put down some different activities. And we’ll use this pink color here to show what we might Expect
from the average child. And we’ll use this green color here to show what we might see
from a child with Asperger’s. Okay, so let’s put down
a few activities here. So let’s put down Reading
and we’ll put down Drawing. And let’s do one more, we’ll
put down Playing with Blocks. So these are a few of the activities that we’re going to look at. So maybe we would expect that
quite a few kids like to Read so let’s maybe draw our
Reading bar to about here. So this about the Level of Interest that we might expect from the average kid. And maybe we would expect
even more kids like to Draw than they do Read so maybe we’ll make this
bar a little higher here. And let’s say that we expect kids to like Playing with Blocks about the same as we would
expect them to like Drawing. So maybe we’ll make that one
about the same height here. Now for kids with Asperger’s they usually have an activity or two that they’re really, really
keen on, they’re super into it. But then they don’t really show interest in other activities. So for example, maybe for
someone with Asperger’s they really aren’t really
interested or keen on Reading. So their little bar
would be way down here, a lot lower than what we might expect from the average child. And they don’t really want to Draw at all so their bar is also really low. But let’s say they absolutely
love Playing with Blocks. They would spend all their
time Playing with Blocks if they could, they’re
really keen on blocks. And they’re way more
keen then we would expect from an average kid so their interest level is way up here. So while every kid with
Asperger’s is different and has different levels of
interest in different activities generally what we see
is something like this. This restricted interest
in one or two activities and then not much interest
at all in anything else. So this kind of shows us what we mean by Restricted activities. And when we say Repetitive Behaviours here what we mean are things
like lining up toys or moving certain body
parts in repetitive ways. So this is something
that we also often see in someone with Asperger’s. So it turns out that these
main signs of Asperger’s are actually what we use
to diagnose the syndrome. There really isn’t a
blood test or a brain scan that we can use to confirm Asperger’s so we really rely on looking
for these behavioral signs. And how we usually go about doing that is by asking the parent
questions and watching the kid who we think has Asperger’s
interact with other people. So maybe we watch to see if
they’re making eye contact or using non verbal cues. We’d look to see if they’re picking up on the body language changes
or changes in tone of voice from other people when
they’re talking to them. We might play with them and see if they want to show
us their toys that they like or share something with us. We might ask them or their
parents about their interests to see if they seem kind of restrictive like this graph here. These sorts of questions and observations would help us look for
these signs of Asperger’s. Now at this point you might be wondering what’s the difference between Asperger’s and Autistic Disorder? Because if you’ve read or heard anything about Autistic Disorder it sounds pretty similar to
what we’re describing here. So while the two are very similar there’s one kind of main thing that sets Asperger’s apart
from Autistic Disorder. So kids with Asperger’s they
don’t really appear to have any delays in language or
intellectual development. They don’t really miss any of
those key language milestones like their first word. Whereas for kids with Autistic Disorder this is something that is
often noticed by the parents pretty early on. The parents notice that
their kid is kind of missing language milestones or just
doesn’t quite seem to be developing the way they should be. So that’s one of the big
differences between Asperger’s and Autistic Disorder. And you can imagine that if there aren’t really
any apparent delays in language with kids with Asperger’s it could mean that it would
take quite a while to figure out that a kid has Asperger’s
and to make the diagnosis. And this is, indeed, the case. So for a lot of kids with Asperger’s it isn’t really picked
up on until later on when they’re put into a
demanding social situation like a new school environment. Now while we’re on the topic
of diagnosing Asperger’s I should actually point
out that a few years ago one of the main manuals, the main guides that we
use to make diagnoses which is called the “Diagnostic & Statistical
Manual of Mental Disorders” or the “DSM”, well, the
“DSM” actually changed a bit. And it removed Asperger’s
as its own diagnosis. So in the previous version
of the “DSM” the “DSM 4” and just so you know we’re
currently on the “DSM 5” so in the older version the “DSM 4” someone could be diagnosed with one of a few different
Autism Spectrum Disorders. So there was Asperger’s,
Autistic Disorder, Childhood disintegrative disorder, and Pervasive developmental disorder. So these were all individual disorders that someone can be diagnosed with. But when the new “DSM 5” came out it was decided that it would be better to kind of merge these all together, these different disorders
into one disorder, Autism Spectrum Disorder. The idea was that this one Spectrum here would better account for
all the different variations that we see in people
with Autistic Disorders by putting everyone on one Spectrum rather than having
several distinct disorders with different criteria. So that’s what the “DSM 5” looks like. So now in the “DSM 5”
instead of having Asperger’s as a diagnosis that can be made there’s just one Autism Spectrum Disorder. But not every country uses the “DSM” so depending on what guidelines
are used in your country to make a diagnosis, you might still see a diagnoses
of Asperger Syndrome made. So whether someone is
diagnosed with Asperger’s or Autism Spectrum Disorder instead the Management is very similar. There isn’t any medication or specific plan to manage Asperger’s. And because everyone is very different Management plans can vary a lot between different people
with the syndrome. So the main sort of goal of Management is to get the parents,
and other family members, and teachers to create an environment that allows the kid with Asperger’s to work on improving their communication and interaction skills. So to help the kid work
on their social skills parents might encourage making eye contact and understanding and using body language
during conversations. They might help the kid
understand social conventions like sharing, and smiling,
and greeting people, and really emphasizing
these on a daily basis. And in order to encourage new interests because remember, kids with Asperger’s can be really Restrictive
with their interests. Parents and teachers might
try to find activities that are similar to but still different from the one that the kid
with Asperger’s enjoys. So maybe if the kid really
enjoys drawing, for example, parents and teachers
might try to encourage other similar artistic activities like painting or sculpting.

16 thoughts on “What is asperger syndrome? | Mental health | NCLEX-RN | Khan Academy

  1. its quite common that children line their toys in a line, but doesn't have to be this at all. They could have repetitive behaviour such as flapping their hands or twitching called mannerisms and also following routines which is comforting to them.

  2. With restrictive interests, do they literally only have 1 interest? And how do you know it's just not different taste? Maybe their interest levels would be normal amongst activities they haven't discovered yet?

  3. I have A SD and fallow a routine every night, my grandmother gets my meds, then we go to her room read scripture and pray every night if we forget I have a panic attack and have trouble sleeping

  4. Sadly, your video propagates the notion that people with Asperger Syndrome are somehow intellectually "less" when you set up a graph (in more than one video) that implies that the more intellectually stimulating activities capture the interests of "expected" behaviors of a "normal" child, and not that of a child with Asperger Syndrome. It's been our experience that the restrictiveness exists, but every child is all over the map about what captures their excessive attention (INCLUDING reading, or drawing– your examples) There should have been asterisks all over your chart to say where these kids land. Oddly, I've not seen "playing with blocks" sit high on the list of many Asperger diagnosed kids.

    The problem comes when people view these people as intellectually less than others. This leads to fewer opportunities being offered to this group of kids, less validation of their feelings, less of a need to address each of these people as still having basic human needs.

    The processing speed is different. It's not that a person with Asperger Syndrome doesn't know what a frown or a yawn means from another person. They truly have a communication impairment in processing "reciprocal communication" in real time. It frustrates the person who is talking to them, so the problem compounds on itself.

    Asperger Syndrome then serves to create an undesired isolation experience. Adolescents crave inclusion and social development. This is a problem for people who live with Asperger Syndrome. They find a profound loneliness, anxiety, and depression develops as a result of this serious communication impairment.

    Suggesting that "expected" behaviors include intellectual and creative activities, and Asperger's restrictive interests do not include intellectual or creative activities is probably not what you intended, but that's how it presented. Even worse, it's included in an NCLEX-RN teaching batch. This means that young adults with Asperger histories will have an entire professional group learning that they tend toward restrictive interests that don't include the more intellectually stimulating activities. That is, they are less.

    Instead of highlighting from the beginning that the DSM 5 has chosen to drop Asperger Syndrome more in favor of Autism Spectrum Disorder, but people who have been identified as having Asperger's are on the spectrum but did not experience the language developmental delays. And pointing out that the restrictive interests can be ANYTHING (including intellectually stimulating interests), and the big issue for young and older adults who have been identified as being Asperger's actually have serious social isolation issues from their communication impairment.

    THAT'S what's important professionally to someone who is in training and testing to become an RN. THAT is what will help the person and their family from a nursing perspective.

  5. I see a lot of people angered by some aspects of her presentation….I have Asperger's, and I have had social skills therapy and it helped immensely. However, I think she's just trying to be as simple as possible to explain it to people. Which is a complex thing to do with Asperger's.

  6. You make people with Aspergers sound really stupid by putting the levels of interest low on reading and drawing (two things which aspies do have strong ability in) and also by putting the level of interest in playing with blocks high. Any neurotypical would take that as a description of lacking intelligence.

  7. Miss? I know you’re doing your job and making a video for YouTube, and you truly wish to keep going as well. I have Aspergers as well, and when I was growing up, my mother used to tell me all the time that I was on such a fine line between Normalcy and This.
    I can’t help but agree with the others, but I also must agree with you as well. You’re doing good work, and I’m thankful for that as well. I’m really good at writing, to the point where my professors said my work was like Dickinson and Poe together in a poem… it amazes me every time they say such things, and yet it’s always bothering because these poems don’t elicit anything from me, so they’re henceforth called “Deliriums”. I’ve nearly 5 books now… I hope to get them published soon.

    Please Stay Safe Miss; and I hope that you’re doing well. Good Luck as well, ok? It seems to be a Wild World out There right now… doesn’t it? Lol

  8. as explained in the video, aspergers sounds very much like shyness to me. when i moved to another country, i was exactly like that for the first few years. they always thought i am very shy but maybe i just have aspergers 🙂

  9. My case with the condition has left me emotionally prone to sadness and depression as a result from interacting with people and the ways of the world. Because of it, it has hardened my view on the world and people in general. When I recover from an emotional trauma, my brain is not happy or depressed, but away from neurotypical population. The process has repeated to the point where no matter what I do, these problems will occur and my faith in interacting with people becomes lost. And imo, rightfully so. My years of living with it have been more depressive and deprived of real world skills. I’m 24 years old and I’ve dealt with the consequences of interacting with people who deal with nothing like that. Ranging from the job market, to kids my age and of this day and age, to a relationship with a girl who wanted to go out all the time nonstop and ended the relationship that really hurt me as of recent. So my view of people and the world has been very hardened and very cynical and and no longer curious or motivating.

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