This course is designed to help healthcare professionals recognize and work with the symptoms of Asperger's syndrome. The DSM-5 subsumed Asperger’s syndrome into the diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder; however, there are special qualities to Asperger’s syndrome that professionals may be called upon to identify when assisting in the acquistion of social and other skills sets. This course is packed with information that professionals will find extremely important in the identification, assessment, and treatment of Asperger’s syndrome; many of the intervention techniques described are also useful in work with children and adults who have autism spectrum disorder.
The course describes the unique history of the Asperger’s syndrome diagnosis and various theories about causality. Using case scenarios, the course offers various symptom presentations across the lifespan, which highlight the importance of thorough assessment and individualized treatment interventions. Screening tools and assessment tools are described. The course details numerous treatment interventions for varying areas of difficulty that individuals experience, such as executive function, social interaction, intense and narrow interests, sensory processing, communication (nonverbal skills and pragmatic skills), mental health, theory of mind, and learning style. Interventions that are discussed include cognitive approaches, peer-mediated intervention programs, group interventions, family therapy, and sibling groups. The course describes in detail how such interventions are used to help individuals develop adaptive skills, including life skills such as personal hygiene and time management. The development of relationship and social skills is also discussed, such as social perception and social problem solving, emotional reciprocity, and knowledge of social norms. The course describes family systems issues related to the diagnosis, such as grief and emotional difficulties. Special considerations for females with Asperger’s syndrome are provided.
This course is intended for social workers, mental health counselors, marriage and family therapists, psychologists, and nurses. However, the course will benefit other professionals who may have a client with Asperger’s syndrome, including physical and occupational therapists, speech and language pathologists, psychiatrists, pediatricians or other medical doctors, paraprofessionals, administrators, and teachers. An extensive resources section is provided at the end of the course to further participants' work with clients who have Asperger's syndrome.