Distinguishing the Differences Between Asperger’s Syndrome and Depression Symptoms in Adolescents

Distinguishing the Differences Between Asperger’s Syndrome and Depression Symptoms in Adolescents

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This paper will focus on the distinctions between the symptoms of Asperger’s syndrome and depression symptoms in adolescents. Misdiagnosed children suffer silently, facing academic difficulties. A strategy for early detection, treatment and prevention of depression within the school setting is an effective approach for success.
The Differences Between the Two Disorders
Asperger’s syndrome is an autism spectrum disorder. The most notable characteristics are
social and communication difficulties. As an Asperger’s teen, the pressure of social acceptance is high. Establishing and maintaining friendships are formed in school. Failed attempts often lead to depression.
Depression is a serious mental illness that can manifest into physical illness as well. The earlier the diagnosis of depression, the quicker treatment can begin. The problem is that Asperger‘s and depression have mimicking traits which makes early depression diagnoses difficult. Given the amount of time adolescents spend with educators and school personnel, it makes the most sense that the school authorities know how to distinguish between the two.
The Cause for Alarm and Immediate Attention
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention stated that “as many as one in 88 children will be diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder by age eight“ (Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (2012). The Center for Disease Control and Prevention also said that “among high school students in the United states, 26.1% of those surveyed reported feeling sad or hopeless almost everyday for two or more weeks in row” (as cited in Abel & Erickson, 2013, p.283). The feelings of sadness and hopelessness are two of the most common symptoms of depression. However, according to Dopheide (20...


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...Journal of Health-System Pharmacy, 63. 233-243.
Kim, H. J., Park, M. H., Park, S. & Yoo, H. J. (2013) Anxiety and depression symptoms in children with Asperger syndrome compared with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and depressive disorder. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 22(4). 559-568.
Lee, G. K., Lipinski, A. M, Lopata, C., Mcdonald, C. A., Rodgers, J. D., Smith, R. A., Smith, T. H., Thomeer, M. L., Toomey, J. A., & Volker, M. A. (2012) Feasibility and initial efficacy of a comprehensive school-based intervention for high functioning autism spectrum disorders. Psychology in the Schools, 49(10). 963-976.
McKevitt, B. C., (2012) School psychologists’ knowledge and use of evidence-based, social- emotional learning intervention. School Contemporary Psychology, 16. 33-45.
National Institute of Mental Health. NIH Publication No. TR 10-3561. Web. 2013

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