Asperger syndrome treatment attempts to manage distressing symptoms and to teach age-appropriate social, communication and vocational skills that are not naturally acquired during development, Although progress has been made, data supporting the efficacy of particular interventions are limited.
The ideal treatment for AS coordinates therapies that address core symptoms of the disorder, including poor communication skills and obsessive or repetitive routines. While most professionals agree that the earlier the intervention, the better, there is no single best treatment package.
- cognitive behavioral therapy to improve stress management relating to anxiety or explosive emotions, and to cut back on obsessive interests and repetitive routines,
- medication, for coexisting conditions such as major depressive disorder and anxiety disorder,
- the training and support of parents, particularly in behavioral techniques to use in the home.
Of the many studies on behavior-based early intervention programs, most are case studies of up to five participants, and typically examine a few problem behaviors such as self-injury, aggression, noncompliance, stereotypies, or spontaneous language; unintended side effects are largely ignored. Despite the popularity of social skills training, its effectiveness is not firmly established. A randomized controlled study of a model for training parents in problem behaviors in their children with AS showed that parents attending a one-day workshop or six individual lessons reported fewer behavioral problems, while parents receiving the individual lessons reported less intense behavioral problems in their AS children. Vocational training is important to teach job interview etiquette and workplace behavior to older children and adults with AS, and organization software and personal data assistants to improve the work and life management of people with AS are useful. Although research into the efficacy of pharmaceutical intervention for AS is limited, along with serious long-term neurological side effects. Sedation and weight gain are more common with olanzapine, have ramifications for classroom learning. Individuals with AS may be unable to identify and communicate their internal moods and emotions or to tolerate side effects that for most people would not be problematic.
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