Asperger's Syndrome


Every parent faces behavioral problems with their children. But what if your child doesn’t respond to discipline and continues to throw tantrums long after the "terrible twos"? That is the challenge for Faith and Lee, whose 8-year-old son, Josiah, was diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome.

Asperger's syndrome is a unique developmental disorder that is considered the highest-functioning form of autism. Children with Asperger's syndrome may display poor social and communicative skills, have difficulty empathizing with others and often express their feelings through emotional outbursts. The exact cause of Asperger's syndrome is not known, but many doctors speculate that the condition is inherited. Asperger's is typically diagnosed in early childhood, and the disorder is roughly four times more common in males than females.

Faith and Lee join The Doctors and talk with doctor of psychology Wendy Walsh, Ph.D., whose 8-year-old daughter also suffers from Asperger’s.

“[People with Asperger’s] have so much functionality that some people argue if it’s a disability,” Dr. Walsh says. “We all know, because we live with these meltdowns, that it can disable somebody in some ways. [Asperger’s] is combined, often, with a kind of genius,” Dr. Wendy adds. “Part of the role of a [parent whose child has Asperger’s] is to figure out where the strengths lie, where the genius is, and teach to those.”

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