What is the Asperger syndrome that Greta Thunberg has? Symptoms and false myths

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Asperger's disorder – like the one suffered by the young environmental activist Greta Thunberg – there is much ignorance and many fly over false myths, sometimes propitiated by different movies and television series that have decided to have asperger people as protagonists, simplifying and stereotyping a very complex syndrome that affects between three and five people in a thousand.

Greta Thunberg at the United Nations headquarters in New York.

He February 18, 1906, was the birth of the pediatrician Hans Asperger., who was the first to describe this syndrome. It is a historical character of conflicting memory. A work published in April 2018 by the historian Herwig Czech after analyzing numerous documentation and that coincides with the theses of others, he says he collaborated with the Nazis and sent children with disabilities to a clinic in Vienna where they were killed.

Precisely In May 2018, the new International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11) of the World Health Organization entered into force, the psychiatric tool most used to make diagnoses, in which Asperger's Syndrome disappeared as such to become integrated into Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD).

What is the Asperger?

The people with asperger are considered people with autism, although among the professionals there are discordant voices that point out that what these people have in any case is "a stroke of autism". This was expressed by expert psychologist Uta Frith.

What are your symptoms?

All people with autism have affected your social communicationas well as the flexibility of behavior and thought And that is something that fits the asperger. As they explain from Autism Federation Madrid, that affectation in the area of ​​social communication is manifested in relation to the difficulty understanding and managing verbal aspects (interpretation of non-literal meanings of language, pragmatic …) and non-verbal (eye contact, gestures, body posture, etc.). Also to its social use (understanding of social situations, management of interpersonal relationships, conflict resolution, etc.)

What is your social behavior?

Regarding the flexibility of thought and behavior, people with autism, including people with asperger, "present restricted, stereotyped and repetitive patterns of interests and behaviors, which make it difficult for the person to adapt flexibly to the changing demands of the environment. "When they have sufficient motivation and structure, they can devote themselves to certain tasks by displaying a memory and level of attention to detail that may seem extraordinary.

How is it detected and what degrees of involvement?

Its early detection, that the diagnosis is not delayed, is one of the claims of associations of people and relatives of people with Asperger. There are many different degrees of involvement, from children in which it is evident from their first years of life that "something happens", to others slightly affected that even remain undiagnosed. There is also a discussion about whether it is true that there are more men affected or if women are underdiagnosed because they are more easily able to develop compensatory strategies.

How can you help those who suffer?

Beata Thunberg, next to Greta.

The Asperger Spain Confederation This year it demands "to society as a whole and, especially, to the public administrations more efforts and commitment to guarantee the support that we need from people with Asperger syndrome and other high functioning ASDs". Make the syndrome understood and how people with asperger in particular are, without the diagnostic label eclipsing individuals, is another of the efforts of these associations. For example, explain that people with this disorder do not have intellectual disability, that they have a completely normal intellectual quotient, which does not mean that they have a higher intelligence, one of the false myths fueled by series and movies that should be banished. People with asperger need, in addition to those supports, "love and patience" and that "they are happier with routines and a structured environment." They recommend being aware of their difficulties and adapting our oral expression and nonverbal language to each person based on their degree of involvement.

Do you have a cure?

It is not a disease that can be cured, it is a condition of the person that must be understood and with which one must work by giving him instruments so that they can "achieve academic training and an employment level similar to that of other people", as well as full inclusion in society.



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