Asperger's Syndrome: Know why Elon Musk faces difficulty in making eye contact

Asperger’s syndrome is one of a group of neurological disorders also called Autism spectrum disorders. Recently Elon Musk has said that he suffers from the disorder too. Know all about the Asperger's Syndrome and its causes and effects here
Created On: May 12, 2021 12:45 IST
Modified On: May 12, 2021 12:46 IST
Asperger's Syndrome
Asperger's Syndrome

Asperger's Syndrome:Why in News?

Elon Musk, the founder of Tesla has recently revealed on Saturday Night Live, a famous talk show, that he suffers from Asperger's Syndrome and has issues like making eye contact with people due to it. Take a look at the article below informing about the symptoms, causes and other details of this neurological disorder. 

What is Asperger’s Syndrome affecting Elon Musk?

Asperger’s syndrome is one of a group of neurological disorders also called autism spectrum disorders or ASD. Asperger’s Syndrome is considered to be on the mild end of the spectrum. The condition is called a "high-functioning" type of ASD. This means the symptoms are less severe than other kinds of autism spectrum disorders.

One can easily find a person with Asperger's Syndrome in a crowd by noticing the following symptoms:

  1. Any person having difficulty with social interaction
  2. Any person engaging in repetitive behavior
  3. Any person standing firm on what they think
  4. Any person focusing on rules and routines

Asperger's Syndrome: Symptoms

  1. Children with AS often have an obsessive focus on a narrow topic of interest
  2. Some may develop an all-consuming interest in subjects of one-sided conversations with peers and adults
  3. A person with Asperger's syndrome has no idea when the topic of interaction is changed which is why he/ she is socially less interactive. 
  4. People affected are unable to read facial expressions and body language of others. 
  5. It is also common for them to avoid eye contact with others while talking to them. 
  6. People also tend to speak in a monotone and display less facial expressions. 

Causes of Asperger's Syndrome:

Nothing specific has been found out that causes Asperger’s Syndrome by the scientists yet. The changes in the brain due to unfound reasons are said to be the cause of symptoms of AS in patients. 

Genetic factors are also considered to be a cause of the syndrome along with exposure to environmental toxins, like chemicals or viruses, have been identified as potential contributors to the development of the disorder. 

Asperger’s Syndrome is said to affect the boys more than girls.

Asperger's Syndrome: Diagnosis

No single test can help in the diagnosis of Asperger's Syndrome. The guardians of the people or children showing symptoms need to consult:

Psychologist: They diagnose and treat problems with emotions and behavior.

Pediatric neurologist: They treat conditions of the brain.

Developmental pediatrician: To find speech and language issues and other developmental problems.

Psychiatrist: As they have knowledge of mental health conditions and can prescribe medicine to treat them.

The doctors test the child in:

  1. Language development
  2. Social interaction
  3. Facial expressions when talking
  4. Interest in interacting with others
  5. Attitudes toward change
  6. Motor coordination and motor skills

Treatment of Asperger's Syndrome:

There is actually no cure of Asperger's Syndrome found yet. However, various treatments are practised to reduce the symptoms of the disorder. The treatment is based on child specific symptoms. 

The medications used to treat the symptoms include:

  1. Aripiprazole (Abilify) to reduce irritability
  2. Guanfacine (Tenex), olanzapine (Zyprexa), and naltrexone (ReVia) to reduce hyperactivity
  3. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) to reduce repetitive behaviors
  4. Risperidone (Risperdal Consta) to reduce agitation and insomnia

The children are treated through the following too:

Social skills training: Therapists teach children how to interact with others and express themselves in groups or one-on-one sessions. Children often learn social skills by modeling after typical behavior.

Speech-language therapy: Communication skills of students are improved using this technique.

Cognitive behavioral therapy: This therapy helps patients in their way of thinking,to be in better control of their emotions and repetitive behaviors. They learn to handle things like outbursts, meltdowns, and obsessions.

Parents are also trained to help their child work on social skills with them at home.

Read| What is Neuralink? All about Elon Musk's new technology and it's uses

FAQ

What is the cause of Asperger's Syndrome?

Nothing specific has been found out that causes Asperger’s Syndrome by the scientists yet.

Which type of disorder is Asperger's Syndrome?

Asperger's syndrome is a type of neurological disorder

Where did Elon Musk reveal, he suffers from Asperger's syndrome?

Elon Musk revealed on Saturday Night Live, a talk show that he suffers from Asperger's Syndrome

Which syndrome does Elon Musk suffer from?

Elon Musk suffers from Asperger's syndrome
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