Children, Youth And Adults With Asperger Syndrome: by Kevin P. Stoddart

By Kevin P. Stoddart

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In a recent consultation, for example, the parents of a ten-year-old boy with AS reported to us that he was eager to have peers join him at home but, as soon as they arrived, he imitated what they did so precisely that the peers were “spooked” by his mimicry. When they demanded that he stop, he claimed that he could not control himself. This resulted in the peers shunning him and refusing to attend his birthday party. An 11-year-old gifted girl I saw a few years ago had a comparable problem. She would invite her friends over and when they arrived, would proceed to insensitively correct their grammar and diction, to their obvious embarrassment and anger.

Mishna and Muskat (1998) also noted that many of the children with AS who participated in their clinical practice were shunned in group therapy because other children could not tolerate their strange interests and behaviours. In the author’s practice, bullying is practically a universal complaint of all those with AS, primarily because many typical peers find them easy targets for overt or covert aggression. Parenthetically, in a recent study, Craven-Thuss and Konstantareas (in preparation) found that parents of children with ASDs were more likely to engage in reactive (responding to provocation) rather than proactive (planned) aggression.

1995) Identification and early intervention in pervasive developmental disorders. Recent Advances in Pediatrics, 13, 123. Szatmari, P. (2003) The causes of autism spectrum disorders. British Medical Journal, 326, 173–4. , and Nagy, J. (1989) Asperger’s syndrome: A review of clinical features. Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, 34, 6, 554–60. A. (1999) Autism and measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine: No epidemiological evidence for a casual association. The Lancet, 353, 2026–9. R. (2003) Diagnosis and epidemiology of autism spectrum disorders.

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