Dr. Bruce Waslick on Asperger’s Syndrome | Connecting Point | Dec. 16, 2013


everything can email recently from a connecting point
viewer that stated the mastermind behind the terrible school massacre at Sandy Hook had been diagnosed with
Aspergers Syndrome according to news reports and even a front-line
investigation on PBS the viewer was concerned that
people not familiar with Aspergers with think that was the reason for the
shooting rampage that left 20 children and six teachers
said love you are brought up a good point what do we know about Aspergers how can
those diagnosed with it be truly helped instead a feeling alienated from society
doctor bruce weir flick from the psychiatry department at Baystate
Medical Center deal specifically with children
adolescents and is here to explain as well as answer some thought-provoking
questions that we received on Facebook and beer email from viewers we presented
this question on 1 thank you so much doctor for joining
me today let’s start off with talk about Aspergers Syndrome in general
can explain it was because I don’t think it as readily known people really don’t know
what it okay Aspergers Syndrome is considered pervasive developmental
disorder so we’ve always considered it in the autism
spectrum so Aspergers Syndrome really is a form of autism often the case with Aspergers Syndrome
have certain strengths that some kids with autism don’t have so that includes language you
know believe that to make conversation use
language more effectively allow the kids are bright you know they
are capable love learning and actually doing well and sometimes
excelling in certain areas soul whereas some other kids with autism
are more globally affected the Aspergers syndrome kids I more more effected in terms of their ability
to function socially and also in terms of the relationship development correct so they have strength then they have
weaknesses as well and the weaknesses let’s talk about
those specifically social interaction and which data motions feelings or how
they express is this two major components one is social
communication ability to kinda make interactions with other kids make
relationships make friends have long standing relationships also
trying to understand how the social world functions how to function within
the family how to function in the classroom how to function out on the playground with the kids
chest often the the sort of unspoken rules of social development just come difficult hard for
them to recognize hard for them to learn the
other main component is that they often have a restricted range interests get
obsessively fascinated with certain things and become experts you know and want to
spend all the time thinking you’re involved with activities related to
their preferential activity sometimes to the exclusion of
other things like making friends are going to school there are doing their
homework or things like that those are the two main features when I
brought this up on social media I was astounded at the responses that I got
from parents that said yes you know I have questions
about Aspergers are my child is dealing with that but then also there’s this
misconception that you know because somebody for instance
like this year behind any hope was diagnosed with Aspergers that there’s a
strong correlation to violent and that’s not
the case at all now in fact I would I would make the filing said I think
this is accurate that kid with Aspergers Syndrome syndrome are much more likely to be the victims
of violence as opposed to the perpetrators of violence %uh the the kid in Newtown I think was
and help liar very unusual sorta situation most kids
with Aspergers Syndrome are not inherently aggressive or violent
so we have some questions that came up from parents that had children dealing with Aspergers
and we had a couple questions I wanna leave the names anonymous because this
was truly a very sensitive topic these parents are truly
struggling with figuring out how to help their children
the best way they can the one question what happened at the
child asks you mami y may not like the other kids why can’t I make friends you know I iced
I tell parents tell them that they’re everybody’s a unique individual in San everybody has certain things that
they’re really good at and certain things they learned just paying tuition
in others have more trouble so some kids are natural athletes you know some kids
are naturally social some kids struggle in those particular areas so it
really is a matter of sort of playing at the kids cranks every parent confined think about that
their kids that they’re really good at highlight the strengths talk about
differences as opposed to disabilities I and also the kids are young they’re
growing their learning if they’re not so good at something at this point in time things might be different a year or two
from now so make sure the the kids feel hopeful they might have to put their minds to it
a little bit more in terms of making friends are making relationships home but keep an optimistic attitude
with them another question he received if you have
another child in the home who does not have Aspergers and this child sees how the other one
behaves and the attention that they get because I’ll or that they said the special 10
church in a get how do you explain to them that they’re different and they’re just not acting out to get
that attention um most kids with autism symptoms they’re not in control that you know
they don’t they don’t do it on purpose I’m often they’re overwhelmed with
situations that they can’t figure out the can understand I think having some kind of language a
discussion with the other kids that their brother a sister is
struggling with certain issues they’re not doing it on purpose this isn’t about getting attention in the vast majority
of cases it’s about kids trying to figure out how to learn had to be in the family how to make
relationships I’m so highlight they out and say again
everybody’s different everybody’s a work in progress your brother sister is growing in
hopefully here she will figure it out someday now one other parents had mentioned that
their child could it make friends at school another parent mention that there child
can make friends at school but treats their siblings much
differently and much more harshly then the friends so it almost seems as
if there’s a there’s that difference in how they
treat their friends and their own siblings a fat comin or how would you different
environments pose different challenges so that sometimes kids are more successful in a
classroom setting which is very structured you know they know what to do
they know what they’re supposed to be doing and the kids are all the same aids might
have things in common they can find things to talk about like their
school activities that environment may be very different than at home dealing with kids who are a lot younger
lot older there’s a lot of more emotional intensity in the family
relationship there might be some a little bit a sibling rivalry sibling
jealousy and trying to figure out had deal with
those powerful feeling sold kids do act differently in different
settings some kids are fine at home and have trouble at school sometimes kids
are having a no difficulty at school having more
trouble at home so everybody’s E individual and everybody’s
unique cell trying to figure out an
individual’s strengths and weaknesses in different environments is also important and also they were asking another
question we received what kind of programs or supporters out there for children and their parents was
thinking this is increasing support so people professionals doctors teachers therapists are learning more and more
about autism Aspergers Syndrome there’s in a global increase in
awareness about the problems the kids with autism have in the united states sold most teachers school counselors
guidance counselors primary care doctors pediatricians can direct families to get appropriate
evaluations appropriate interventions sometimes
there’s things that are needed at school help kids function at their best special support
at school that schools can provide an are increasingly providing for kids and
families and there are mental health resources in
the community their arse agencies that offer help two kids
dealing with autism I’m so there’s a variety of agencies
even western Massachusetts we have a lot of agencies and and the services are
increasing every day arm so parents shouldn’t feel down they
have questions turned to trusted professionals in their environment threats cooler in the health care system
to try to get the kids appropriately evaluated and get them the services that
they need great thank you so much active response
like help

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