Transcript of video
How do you diagnose and treat a child with Asperger’s syndrome in your practice? Dr. Anton Titov, MD. We believe in Asperger syndrome. We think that Asperger’s syndrome is a distinct clinical entity. It is different from Autism Spectrum Disorder. Professor Dr. Ricky Richardson, MD. Children with Asperger’s syndrome are unlike autism spectrum disorder-type children. They often have excellent speech and language skills. They have a rather rigid method of looking at the world. For example, they have a prodigious memory often. They have many many skills. This are different from children with traditional ASD [autism spectrum disorder]. Asperger’s syndrome is distinct, we think so. In America, as you know, Asperger syndrome has been removed from the classification. In America it is thought of just as a high-functioning autism. Professor Dr. Ricky Richardson, MD. But we think Asperger’s syndrome is a distinctive, different entity. But only time will tell. Dr. Anton Titov, MD. Sometimes you encounter children with a potential Asperger’s syndrome diagnosis. Dr. Anton Titov, MD. What are the diagnostic tests and diagnostic criteria that you use to confirm or refute Asperger’s syndrome diagnosis? Professor Dr. Ricky Richardson, MD. It kind of exactly the same process as I described. The multidisciplinary process that we have evolved for the Autism Spectrum Disorder clinic. We think that there is no difference in management except to get the educational setting right. Dr. Anton Titov, MD. Schools often welcome children with Asperger syndrome. Because they are often very bright. Children with Asperger’s syndrome have skills that other children without Asperger syndrome don’t have. Professor Dr. Ricky Richardson, MD. You could argue that there can be educational advantage to have Asperger’s syndrome over people who are “normal”. Dr. Anton Titov, MD. It is interesting, sounds like “super children”? Well, it is a concept we toy with, “super children”. But there are certainly many many stories about children with Asperger syndrome having extraordinarily well-developed skills. They have mathematical skills and memory skills, in particular. But they don’t seem to have any idea about the normal social boundaries. Professor Dr. Ricky Richardson, MD. These children do not know what is acceptable and what is not acceptable. For example, they invade personal space. They go on and on talking about a subject long after the other person has become bored. They are rather literal in their thinking. For example, if it is raining and you say, “it is raining cats and dogs”. They will say, “Well, where are the cats and where are the dogs?” They are very literal. They don’t do empathy very well. It is a very interesting condition. I have met many children with Asperger syndrome. Dr. Anton Titov, MD. Some children are extraordinarily gifted and usually very bright They have IQs of 150 or more.