‘Just How My Brain Works’: Elon Musk Reveals He Has Asperger’s
What is Asperger’s syndrome? How is it treated?
CEO of Tesla, Elon Musk has revealed that he has Asperger's syndrome, a developmental disorder that falls within the Autism spectrum.
The tech mogul made the revelation while guest hosting the comedy sketch show, Saturday Night Live, in the US.
In his opening monologue, speaking to the audience, Musk said, "I don't always have a lot of intonation or variation in how I speak... which I'm told makes for great comedy, I'm actually making history tonight as the first person with Asperger's to host SNL," reported the BBC.
Joking about his disorder and his unusual tweets (for which he has often faced criticism), he added, "Look, I know I sometimes say or post strange things, but that's just how my brain works."
What Is Asperger's Syndrome?
Speaking to FIT for a previous article, Dr Praveen Gupta, Director and HOD of Neurology at Fortis Gurugram, explained that Asperger's a disorder within the autism spectrum wherein a person struggles with social interaction and communication.
Some signs and markers of Asperger's syndrome include,
Difficulty communicating with others.
Difficulty picking up on non-verbal communication like body language or voice tone)
Average or above-average intelligence
Social awkwardness and difficulty making eye contact
“Unlike other children with autism disorders who are low in IQ, those with Asperger’s have a normal IQ. But there are behavioral problems that can appear in the form of social awkwardness or anger outbursts, for instance.”Dr Praveen Gupta, Director and Head of Department, Neurology, Fortis Memorial Research Institute, Gurugram.
How Is It Diagnosed?
Asperger's is usually diagnosed at a young age, when a parent may notice inconsistencies in the development of the child's social skills and communication.
According to WebMD, Asperger's can be diagnosed by a psychologist, or a psychiatrist by observing the child and asking a series of questions about their behaviour and developmental milestones.
Depending on the child's specific needs, the doctor may then recommend treatment involving a combination of therapy and speech/communication training.
“The condition stays with the person and requires treatment over years. Cognitive behavior therapy is the common course of treatment, but depending on the severity of symptoms, other measures like antipsychotic medication or stimulants for hyperactivity could be administered”Dr Praveen Gupta, Director and Head of Department, Neurology, Fortis Memorial Research Institute, Gurugram.
(Written with inputs from the BBC.)
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