Helping Your Adolescent with Asperger’s Syndrome

Mental Health Disorders that Often Co-Occur with Asperger’s Syndrome

It’s not uncommon for adolescents with Asperger’s Syndrome to have other mental health issues, or at least some symptoms of them, as well.  Depression, in particular, is common in teens with AS.  This is often triggered by their increasing awareness of their limited social skills and not fitting in with many of their peers.  Following are psychiatric disorders that often co-occur with AS:

  • Depression
  • Social Anxiety Disorder
  • Obsessive-compulsive Disorder (OCD)
  • Bipolar Disorder
  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
  • Nonverbal Learning Disorder
  • Other Anxiety Disorders

Looking for and Recognizing the Signs of Asperger’s Syndrome

Autism spectrum disorders are often diagnosed in early childhood.  However, since individuals with AS are on the higher-functioning end of the autism continuum, an early diagnosis is more likely to be missed.  As a parent, the sooner your child is diagnosed the sooner he or she can begin benefitting from proper intervention.  Three key things to remember when it comes to Asperger’s Syndrome:

  • Symptoms can range from very mild to severe
  • The primary problem pertains to social deficits, which can manifest in a variety of ways
  • No two teens with AS are alike

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