Understanding PTSD’s Effects on Brain, Body, and Emotions
By Janet Seahorn, Ph.D Published on Mar 14, 2016
PTSD disrupts the lives of average individuals as well as combat veterans who have served their country. The person experiencing the trauma often then impacts the lives of his/her family, friends, and workplaces. PTSD does not distinguish between race, age or gender and often goes un-diagnosed. Even with proper diagnosis, many individuals do not know where to turn to get help. Society needs to understand the aftermath of trauma especially combat trauma and how to prepare for warriors when they return home.
Janet Seahorn, Ph.D has been a teacher, administrator, and consultant for over thirty years. She currently teaches a variety of classes on neuroscience and literacy as an adjunct professor for Colorado State University in Fort Collins, CO. Jan has a Ph.D in Human Development and Organizational Systems. Her background includes an in-depth understanding of human development and neuroscience research as well as effective practices in organizational systems and change. She conducts workshops on the neuroscience of learning and memory, the effects of “at-risk” environments (i.e., poverty), brain development, and researched-based instructional practices. Jan has worked with many organizations in the business and educational communities in creating and sustaining healthy, dynamic environments. Dr. Seahorn has researched and studied the effects of trauma on the brain and how excessive or extreme trauma can impact changes in the brain’s neuro network and how that change impacts behaviors.
Get an insight into the daily life of PTSD… Read her Book today
I found this to be profound as far as the education aspect.
NEA REPORTS: Across the country, the number of children diagnosed as having autism has increased substantially and many of these students are in general education classrooms. How can general education teachers and other education professionals address their complex communication, social and learning needs?
Teaching Students with Autism provides a brief summary of how K-12 educators might think differently about students with autism, capitalize on their strengths, provide supports to address their challenges, and facilitate positive social relationships among students with and without autism.
When it comes to staying or getting into good shape, motivation may be hard to come by. As the seasons change so do our motivation to stay in shape. Work schedules, cold winter days, and all those electronic gadgets that keep us from drudging up the motivation to get in shape or maintain a daily routine of exercise are definite culprits. But we should be totally aware of the effects that inactivity has on the body.
Heart disease, stroke or diabetes is just some of the unhealthy affects of inactivity in the body. The good news is that studies show without discrepancy that these affects can be prevented or reversed; meaning that switching from a sedentary lifestyle to an active one can be extremely beneficial over time. Exercise alone, without change in diet, can greatly reduce the risks for these diseases even in small amounts. Doing what ever you can to increase your motivation to exercise is the first step to overcoming the lack of motivation to actually do it. Any of the arrays of methods to motivate you will be of great importance. Listening to music while running, simply finding out the exercises that you truly enjoy, setting particular times when exercise is the main focus of the day, all help you to stay motivated to stay in motion. Developing a habit or pattern for exercising is the best way to stay motivated; your body will become accustomed to working out heavy at a certain time each and every time. Your mind posses the ability to create positive ideas that leads to positive actions allowing you to live a strong and healthy life. Positive self talk can do wonders for motivation as well as just viewing the results of previous attempts (i.e. thinner waistline, six pack, etc). Self encouragement is the ultimate motivation. You’ll have no one to thank but yourself.
Fitness motivation is the essential part of changing your body, so creating a fitness motivation plan maybe the answer for you. For men, setting goals and providing adequate challenges work best. Changing scenery from indoors to outdoors may be the answer. If you just don’t feel like exercising or giving up on an established routine, constantly reminding yourself that the pay off is great will help. Psychological benefits like increased confidence, self-esteem, and relief from anxiety, stress and depression and better sexual performance can be all the motivation that’s needed. Remaining realistic about your goals will also aid in the fight to stay motivated to exercise. Setting a goal that is extremely difficult to obtain is depleting and counterproductive. Achieving a challenging appropriate goal boosts pride, satisfaction and will create more motivation. Making the exercise routine fun by adding variety in routines, exercises, or persons that you exercise with is a likely way to stick to any exercise routine.
Here’s A Funny Video to workout too..
If your are looking for health advantages and the secrets to sculpting a new and better you. Low impact band exercises have been designed and created to help you achieve your long term goals. Placing health and wellness at the top for you.
If you are not particularly knowledgeable when it comes to fitness issues,watching videos will help you out with your routine. This can take a lot of the mystery out of getting fit.
Setting attainable goals, adding things to increase enjoyment of the exercise routine, challenges, and the addition of a buddy to assist are all great ways to stay motivated, stay fit, and most importantly stay moving. You will benefit in the short term, and in the long run as well with physical and mental benefits in almost every way.
The High Dose Oral Vitamin C Protocol for Cancer (and Nearly Every Other Ailment)
I’m really excited about this post because I’m sharing some really cool stuff about Vitamin C that many people do not know. Or maybe I’m wrong and everyone already knows this but me… We’ll see.
This is a powerful anti-cancer protocol and even if you don’t have cancer, you can use this method to determine how much toxic stress is going on inside your body and how high doses of Vitamin C could dramatically improve your health.
Ok so we all now that Vitamin C (asorbic acid) is good for you right? The body doesn’t produce it, so it has to come from food.
You’ve probably also heard that a severe Vitamin C deficiency leads to scurvy. Early symptoms of scurvy are malaise and lethargy. That’s basically a “general feeling of being unwell” along with tiredness or exhaustion. (Does this sound like you?) After a few months comes shortness of breath and bone pain. Further down the road is muscle pain, skin sores, gum disease, loose teeth, wounds not healing, dry mouth, dry eyes, and emotional problems. In the late stages comes jaundice, edema, fever, convulsions, and eventually death.
Sounds fun right? Fortunately scurvy can be CURED with lemons, limes, oranges, and any other Vitamin C containing food.
Don’t Forget to watch the video below
Here’s where it gets interesting…
The cure for scurvy was first published in 1617 in The Surgeon’s Mate by English military surgeon John Woodall. And it was completely ignored by the medical community.
In 1753 (136 years later) naval surgeon James Lind published his discovery in, A Treatise of The Scurvy, which was also ignored. The medical establishment insisted that the testimonials of eating citrus fruit to reverse scurvy were merely “anecdotal” and not based on “scientific evidence”. Sound familiar?
Fortunately James Lind persevered and about 50 years later citrus fruit was finally accepted and used for the prevention and treatment of scurvy on sailing vessels. So, in summary:
The cure for scurvy was ignored for nearly 200 years after its discovery.
Nutrition and natural therapies are still ignored modern medicine. In fact I’d be willing to bet that if you went to see a doctor with some of the symptoms of scurvy that I listed above, you be subjected to a barrage of expensive tests, misdiagnosed, prescribed pharmaceutical drugs, and subjected to treatments for some other disease. This happens all the time. Earlier this year my good friend Tony was told that he probably had cancer or AIDS, turns out it was viral pneumonia. Can you imagine?
But I digress… Let’s get back to Vitamin C.
Here are some common whole food sources of Vitamin C:
Oranges, Kiwi, Canteloupe, Papaya, Strawberries, Brussels Sprouts, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Cabbage, Kale and Peppers.
“Super foods” with the highest concentration of Vitamin C on planet earth are:
Camu Camu Fruit, Amla (Indian Gooseberry), and Acerola Cherries. In that order.
Vitamin C supports nearly every system in your body: your adrenals, your immune system, your cardiovascular system, and more. Perhaps the most important is that it is a neutralizer of free radicals.
There’s been tons of ground-breaking research on high-dose Vitamin C’s powerful healing and anti-cancer effects by the likes of Fred Klenner MD, Irwin Stone, Linus Pauling, and Ewan Cameron. I don’t have time to get into their stories but I wanted to a least give credit where it’s due. Google them in your spare time. There’s a fascinating Vitamin C phenomenon that most of us don’t know about.
The sicker and/or more toxic you are, the more free radicals you have in your body, and as a result, the more Vitamin C your body will absorb and use. The body keeps a small reserve of Vitamin C available for use when there is increased internal demand, but when you are sick this is quickly depleted.
You may have also heard (or experienced) that if you take too much Vitamin C by mouth you get the runs, aka “chach” which is our family’s abbreviation (and code word) for
“Diarrhea Cha Cha Cha”.
A healthy person can take anywhere from 4-15 grams (4,000-15,000 mg) of Vitamin C in a 24 hour period without getting the runs, but a sick person can tolerate anywhere from 10-20 times more. I’m talking even as much as 100-200 grams per day by mouth.
Have you ever taken Vitamin C when you had a cold and it didn’t help? This is probably because you didn’t take near enough.
Here’s where it gets ridiculous… If you ate something that contained “100% of the USRDA (Recommended Daily Allowance ) of Vitamin C” that seems pretty good right?
The USRDA for Vitamin C is only 75 mg. That’s MILLIGRAMS. A normal healthy person can absorb and use between 4,000-15,000 milligrams per day. So the USRDA is way off on this one. 75 mg is basically what someone decided is the absolute minimum amount to keep you from getting scurvy. This is not an amount that promotes health and optimal body function.
One orange has about 150mg of Vitamin C, about 2 times more than the USRDA. And 1 teaspoon of Camu Camu Powder has about 15 times the USRDA of Vitamin C!
Even though you may not have scurvy, I think it’s safe to assume that many of us may not be getting enough Vitamin C in our diets, the lack of which could be a contributor to
a) feeling lousy or b) serious disease.
High Dose Oral Vitamin C Therapy is taking the maximum dose your body can tolerate before you get the runs. This requires finding your threshold and then backing off a little bit for your daily dose. The clinical term is “titrating to bowel tolerance”.
As some of you know, one of the therapies I used to help my body heal from cancer was Vitamin C IV Therapy, which is a common practice in the natural/alternative cancer treatment world. This involves sitting in chair in a practitioner’s office for two hours with an IV drip containing 50 grams or more of Vitamin C. And while this is a very effective method to get a massive dose of Vitamin C without reaching bowel tolerance and to promote healing in the body, it is time consuming and expensive. I was paying $120 a pop, cash money. And in order for it to be the most effective you need to do it 2-3 times per week for many weeks.
My friend Bill, who’s healing his prostate cancer naturally, turned me on to a simple do-it-yourself Oral Vitamin C Protocol that he was put on by an underground cancer treatment expert whose name I cannot use publicly. Bill initially reached bowel tolerance taking 60 grams per day. After two months his tolerance was down to less than 30 grams per day. That’s a very good sign.
The Vitamin C Toxicity Test & Protocol
This is something everyone should do. Now clearly no one wants diarrhea on purpose, but in this case it can give you some immediate feedback about your internal condition. And it’s super cheap to do!
The simple way to find your tolerance is to take 2-3 grams of Vitamin C powder or crystals (ascorbic acid) every two hours mixed in 8 oz of water. That will give you about 12-18 grams the first day. Make sure you keep track of your doses. Vitamin C powder is highly concentrated. 1 teaspoon is usually about 5 grams of Vitamin C.
The goal is to find your 24 hour limit, not your single dose limit.
The half-life of Vitamin C in the body is about 30 minutes. That means about an hour after you take Vitamin C, your body has used up most of it. So an important key to this protocol is to keep your body saturated with C all day. Dosing every 1-2 hours is ideal.
If you reach bowel tolerance in the first 24 hours, reduce the total dose by 20-25% and continue to take that amount every day as a maintenance dose (this may be for several days or weeks) until you reach bowel tolerance again at that level. Then reduce by 20% again and continue with that dose until you hit bowel tolerance, and so on.
It works the opposite of what you would expect because you don’t build up a tolerance. The healthier you become, the lower your bowel tolerance for Vitamin C will go.
If you reach bowel tolerance at 10-15 grams or less per day, you’re considered to be in very good shape health wise.
If you follow the steps above and do not reach bowel tolerance the first day, continue to up the dose each day until you get there. If you are seriously sick you may need to dose every hour or 1/2 hour as indicated in the chart below. As you get close to bowel tolerance you will get gassy and should have soft stool. That means you’re very close to your body’s limit and should reduce your dosage a bit.
Here’s a dosage chart from the late and legendary Dr. Robert Cathcart MD, who treated 9000+ patients with Vitamin C!
TABLE I – USUAL BOWEL TOLERANCE DOSES
CONDITIONGrams Per 24 HoursDoses Per 24 Hours
normal 4 – 15 4 – 6
mild cold 30 – 60 6 – 10
severe cold 60 – 100+ 8 – 15
influenza 100 – 150 8 – 20
ECHO, coxsackievirus 100 – 150 8 – 20
mononucleosis 150 – 200+ 12 – 25
viral pneumonia 100 – 200+ 12 – 25
hay fever, asthma 15 – 50 4 – 8
food allergy 0.5 – 50 4 – 8
burn, injury, surgery 25 – 150+ 6 – 20
anxiety, exercise and
other mild stresses 15 – 25 4 – 6
cancer 15 – 100 4 – 15
ankylosing spondylitis 15 – 100 4 – 15
Reiter’s syndrome 15 – 60 4 – 10
acute anterior uveitis 30 – 100 4 – 15
rheumatoid arthritis 15 – 100 4 – 15
bacterial infections 30 – 200+ 10 – 25
infectious hepatitis 30 – 100 6 – 15
candidiasis 15 – 200+ 6 – 25
Something else worth noting in the above chart: If you are under chronic stress or engage in athletic activities like running, weight training, etc. you are likely to have an increased need for Vitamin C and your tolerance will be higher. Even if you are healthy.
Dr. Cathcart also notes that low dose vitamin c had basically no effect, but high dose vitamin c, when taken at 80-90% of bowel tolerance, produced a significant and dramatic reduction of symptoms in his patients.
When I first tried this protocol a couple months ago I didn’t reach bowel tolerance until I got to around 34 grams. I worked my way up to taking 12 grams three times per day. I have no idea why my tolerance was that high. I workout 3-5 days per week which would increase my tolerance but perhaps I also had something going on internally… who knows?
Earlier this morning I took 7.5 grams and it produced bowel tolerance for me a couple hours later which actually interrupted my work on this post. Clearly my tolerance is down and if Dr. Cathcart is right, my internal health has improved.
Another one: My kids came home with colds from school two weeks ago. Then my wife got it. One morning I started to feel cold symptoms as well so I took 10 grams of Vitamin c. I felt great all day. Then close to bedtime I started to feel the symptoms again so I took another 10 grams. I did this every day for about a week. I would feel the symptoms in the morning, but I quickly crushed them with 10 grams of vitamin c. Some days I would take a dose around lunch time as well if I remembered. I was taking 20-30 grams per day for most of the week, I felt good, I was close to bowel tolerance, and the cold never developed. Since then, I’ve done this more times than I can count. Works every time.
What form to take?
Vitamin C comes in several different forms: pure asorbic acid and buffered with minerals.
Buffered C contains mineral salts like calcium asorbate, magnesium asorbate, and sodium asorbate. Buffered C is more alkaline but the excess minerals could be problematic if you are taking mega doses.
I compared three different types (buffered and pure asorbic acid) to see if they had different effects but my tolerance was basically the same for all three. Having said that…
Solaray Vitamin C Powder is 100% pure asorbic acid so it’s extremely tart and citric. Vitamin Shoppe Buffered C-Complex tastes chalky, not citric.
Thompson C Buffered Crystals is buffered with calcium asorbate, it’s citric but not as strong as the pure crystals.
Dr. Cathcart recommends taking pure asorbic acid for the high dose oral protocol. Dr. Thomas Levy recommends sodium asorbate. I think it makes sense to rotate between different types.
*After writing this post it was brought to my attention that most of the asorbic acid in vitamin C powder is made in China from GMO corn. If that is a concern for you, there are several brands of non-GMO vitamin C powders.
Treatment for Asperger’s syndrome strives to improve your child’s abilities to interact with other people and thus to function effectively in society and be self-sufficient. Each child with Asperger’s syndrome has differences in the number and severity of symptoms, so treatment should be designed to meet individual needs and available family resources. Specific treatments are based on symptoms.
Start by contacting your local school district to find out which services are available for your child. Become informed about your child’s educational rights. Federal law requires public schools to provide appropriate educational services for people ages 3 to 21 who have disabilities (including Asperger’s). Also, there may be state and local laws or policies to aid children with Asperger’s.
You will meet with school personnel to identify goals and establish an individualized education program (IEP). IEPs are designed to fit the child’s specific needs based on the evaluation of his or her level of disability.
Here is some soothing music to help calm and sooth when the ASD patient becomes restless or upset. Great for when they are having a melt down. The total transformation is a mind blowing. It will also give the care taker of the ASD patient a good restful sleep also and can calm you down during a melt down. That way you have control over your emotions and the ASD patient to relax and become grounded again. This is better than the medications for instant relief. They have found if you play this at night, that the next day is much calmer for them.
CAUTION: Do not play if you are driving a vehicle or operating machinery. The person it is recommended for can use headphones or ear buds in vehicles. Or If Emergency melt down pull off the highway and park the vehicle and play the music and turn it to earbuds once you have situation under control.
Asperger’s syndrome is a developmental condition in which people have difficulties understanding how to interact socially. A diagnosis is best made with input from parents, doctors, teachers, and other caregivers who know or who have observed the child. Asperger’s syndrome is diagnosed when specific criteria are met. These include:
Your doctor will take a medical history by asking questions about your child’s development, including information about motor development, language, areas of special interest, and social interactions. He or she will also ask about the mother’s pregnancy and the family’s history of medical conditions.
Testing can help your doctor find out whether your child’s problem is related to Asperger’s syndrome. Your primary care provider may refer your child to a specialist for testing, including:
Psychological assessment. Intellectual function and learning style are evaluated. IQ (intelligence quotient) and motor skills tests are common. Personality assessment tests may also be done.
Communication assessment. Speech and formal language are evaluated. Children are tested to find out how well they understand and use language to communicate ideas. Your doctor will also test for understanding of nonverbal forms of communication and nonliteral language skills, such as understanding of humor or metaphor. He or she will listen to your child’s voice for volume, stress, and pitch.
Psychiatric examination. Your doctor may examine your child’s family and peer relationships, reactions to new situations, and the ability to understand the feelings of others and types of indirect communication such as teasing and sarcasm. Your doctor may want to observe your child at home and at school. He or she may also look for conditions such as anxiety and depression, which are often found in people with Asperger’s syndrome.
Researchers have not yet found a way to prevent Asperger’s syndrome. Some advocacy groups claim the measles–mumps–rubella (MMR) vaccine causes Asperger’s and autism. But numerous studies have not found a link between these conditions and the vaccine.2 Doctors recommend that you have your children immunized, because not doing so puts them and others in your community at risk for serious diseases and even death. (Some say that statement is a cover up)
Asperger’s Syndrome – Home Treatment:
You can best serve your child by learning about Asperger’s syndrome and providing a supportive and loving home environment. Remember that your child, just like every other child, has his or her own strengths and weaknesses and needs as much support, patience, and understanding as you can give.
Educating yourself about the condition and about what to expect is an important part of helping your child develop independence and succeed outside of his or her home. Learn about Asperger’s syndrome by talking to your doctor or contacting Asperger’s organizations. A good source is OASIS @ MAAP: The Online Asperger Syndrome Information and Support Center at http://www.aspergersyndrome.org. Learning about Asperger’s will reduce your and your family members’ stress and help your child succeed.
The following are some suggestions on how to help your child who has Asperger’s syndrome. Some of the ideas will be helpful, and some may not work for you. Flexibility, creativity, and a willingness to continue to learn will all help you as you raise your child.
Children with Asperger’s syndrome benefit from daily routines for meals, homework, and bedtime. They also like specific rules, and consistent expectations mean less stress and confusion for them.
Many people with Asperger’s syndrome do best with verbal (rather than nonverbal) teaching and assignments. A direct, concise, and straightforward manner is also helpful.
People with Asperger’s syndrome often have trouble understanding the “big picture” and tend to see part of a situation rather than the whole. That’s why they often benefit from a parts-to-whole teaching approach, starting with part of a concept and adding to it to demonstrate encompassing ideas.
Visual supports, including schedules and other written materials that serve as organizational aids, can be helpful.
Be aware that background noises, such as a clock ticking or the hum of fluorescent lighting, may be distracting to your child.
Children with autism spectrum disorders (which include Asperger’s syndrome) may be especially interested in video games, computers, or other screen-based media such as TV. If possible, keep televisions, video games, and computers out of your child’s bedroom. When children with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) have these devices in their bedroom, they are more likely to sleep fewer hours. This is especially true when video games are in the bedroom. If your child doesn’t get enough sleep, his or her ASD symptoms may be worse.
Children with Asperger’s syndrome often mature more slowly. Don’t always expect them to “act their age.”
Try to identify stress triggers and avoid them if possible. Prepare your child in advance for difficult situations, and teach him or her ways to cope. For example, teach your child coping skills for dealing with change or new situations.
Strategies for developing social skills:
Your child may not understand the social norms and rules that come more naturally to other children. Provide clear explanations of why certain behaviors are expected, and teach rules for those behaviors.
Encourage your child to learn how to interact with people and what to do when spoken to, and explain why it is important. Give lots of praise, especially when he or she uses a social skill without prompting.
Practice activities, such as games or question-and-answer sessions, that call for taking turns or putting yourself in the other person’s place.
Help your child understand others’ feelings by role-playing and watching and discussing human behaviors seen in movies or on television. Provide a model for your child by telling him or her about your own feelings and reactions to those feelings.
Teach your child how to read and respond appropriately to social cues. Give him or her “stock” phrases to use in various social situations, such as when being introduced. You can also teach your child how to interact by role-playing.
Foster involvement with others, especially if your child tends to be a loner.
Teach your child about public and private places, so that he or she learns what is appropriate in both circumstances. For example, hugging may not be appropriate at school but is usually fine at home.
Strategies for school:
Use visual systems, such as calendars, checklists, and notes, to help define and organize schoolwork.
Orient your child to the school setting. Before the school year starts, take time to “walk through” your child’s daily schedule. You can also use pictures to make your child familiar with the new settings before school starts.
Be aware of and try to protect your child from bullying and teasing. Talk to your child’s teacher or school counselor about educating classmates about Asperger’s syndrome.
Ask your child’s teacher to seat your child next to classmates who are sensitive to your child’s special needs. These classmates might also serve as “buddies” during recess, at lunch, and at other times.
Encourage your child’s teacher to include your child in classroom activities that emphasize his or her best academic skills, such as reading, vocabulary, and art.
Set up homework routines for your child by doing homework at a specific time and place every day. This will help your child learn about time management.
Use rewards to motivate your child. Allow him or her to watch TV or play a favorite video game or give points toward a “special interest” gift when he or she performs well.
Some children with Asperger’s have poor handwriting. Typing schoolwork on a computer may be one way to make homework easier. Using computers can also help children improve fine motor skills and organize information. Occupational therapy may also be helpful.
Asperger’s syndrome is a lifelong condition, although it tends to stabilize over time, and improvements are often seen. Adults usually have a better understanding of their own strengths and weaknesses. They are able to learn social skills, including how to read others’ social cues. Many people with Asperger’s syndrome marry and have children.
Some traits that are typical of Asperger’s syndrome, such as attention to detail and focused interests, can increase chances of university and career success. Many people with Asperger’s seem to be fascinated with technology, and a common career choice is engineering. But scientific careers are by no means the only areas where people with Asperger’s excel. Indeed, many respected historical figures have had symptoms of Asperger’s, including Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Albert Einstein, Marie Curie, and Thomas Jefferson.
Most symptoms persist through the teen years. And although teens with Asperger’s can begin to learn those social skills they lack, communication often remains difficult. They will probably continue to have difficulty “reading” others’ behavior.
Your teen with Asperger’s syndrome (like other teens) will want friends but may feel shy or intimidated when approaching other teens. He or she may feel “different” from others. Although most teens place emphasis on being and looking “cool,” teens with Asperger’s may find it frustrating and emotionally draining to try to fit in. They may be immature for their age and be naive and too trusting, which can lead to teasing and bullying.
All of these difficulties can cause teens with Asperger’s to become withdrawn and socially isolated and to have depression or anxiety.1
But some teens with Asperger’s syndrome are able to make and keep a few close friends through the school years. Some of the classic Asperger’s traits may also work to the benefit of your teen. Teens with Asperger’s are typically uninterested in following social norms, fads, or conventional thinking, allowing creative thinking and the pursuit of original interests and goals. Their preference for rules and honesty may lead them to excel in the classroom and as citizens.
Although there are many possible symptoms of Asperger’s syndrome, the main symptom is significant trouble with social situations. Your child may have mild to severe symptoms or have a few or many of these symptoms. Because of the wide variety of symptoms, no two children with Asperger’s are alike.
Symptoms during childhood:
Parents often first notice the symptoms of Asperger’s syndrome when their child starts preschool and begins to interact with other children. Children with Asperger’s syndrome may:
Not pick up on social cues and may lack inborn social skills, such as being able to read others’ body language, start or maintain a conversation, and take turns talking.
Dislike any changes in routines.
Appear to lack empathy.
Be unable to recognize subtle differences in speech tone, pitch, and accent that alter the meaning of others’ speech. So your child may not understand a joke or may take a sarcastic comment literally. And his or her speech may be flat and hard to understand because it lacks tone, pitch, and accent.
Have a formal style of speaking that is advanced for his or her age. For example, the child may use the word “beckon” instead of “call” or the word “return” instead of “come back.”
Talk a lot, usually about a favorite subject. One-sided conversations are common. Internal thoughts are often verbalized.
Avoid eye contact or stare at others.
Have unusual facial expressions or postures.
Be preoccupied with only one or few interests, which he or she may be very knowledgeable about. Many children with Asperger’s syndrome are overly interested in parts of a whole or in unusual activities, such as designing houses, drawing highly detailed scenes, or studying astronomy. They may show an unusual interest in certain topics such as snakes, names of stars, or dinosaurs.
Have delayed motor development. Your child may be late in learning to use a fork or spoon, ride a bike, or catch a ball. He or she may have an awkward walk. Handwriting is often poor.
Have heightened sensitivity and become overstimulated by loud noises, lights, or strong tastes or textures. For more information about these symptoms, see sensory processing disorder.
A child with one or two of these symptoms does not necessarily have Asperger’s syndrome. To be diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome, a child must have a combination of these symptoms and significant trouble with social situations.
Although the condition is in some ways similar to autism, a child with Asperger’s syndrome typically has normal language and intellectual development. Also, those with Asperger’s syndrome typically make more of an effort than those with autism to make friends and engage in activities with others.
Many children with Asperger’s syndrome also have coexisting conditions and may have symptoms of these conditions also. They include: