Asperger's: a Break in Communication

A Break in Communication
Comm 200
Michael O’Donnell

Asperger’s: A Breakdown in Communication
We are able to communicate with others in multiple ways, a kind word of encouragement, a pat on the back, yelling, and the tilt of the head are just a few examples. Those with Asperger’s syndrome have trouble expressing and interrupting the true meaning of the messages in an encounter. Asperger Syndrome is a type of pervasive developmental delay that effects imagination, ability to socialize, and most importantly communication skills (WebMD, 2009). I will discuss effective principles in interpersonal communication, their barriers and strategies for interpersonal conflict and how it pertains to individuals affected by Asperger’s syndrome.
There are key principles for communicating effectively in an interpersonal relationship: verbal skills, emotional expressiveness, conversational focus, nonverbal analysis, conversational encouragement, care and appreciation, commitment and adaptation (Hybels & Weaver II, 2007, pg.173).   Asperger’s individuals have challenges with each of these principles in some way. Verbal skills are acquired through our environment, cognitive development and native architecture, which is an inborn genetic link for language transmission and acquisition (Hybels & Weaver II, 2007, pg.107). Since we are all born with this genetic ability for language, why then would someone afflicted by Asperger’s have such a hard time with communication even with the right environmental influences? The answer would be their cognitive development. Cognitive development is defined in Communicating Effectively as “the development of the thinking and organizing systems of your brain that involves language, mental imagery, reasoning, problem solving, and memory development (Hybels & Weaver II, 2007, pg. 108)”. When the cognitive development of someone is impaired by Asperger’s, that individual will have difficulty with what they want to...