3 Stages of Social Betterment of Mild Autism Spectrum Disorder and Asperger Syndrome

Treatments for borderline autism or Asperger syndrome have been very limited compared to ones available for severe autism. Cognitive behavioral therapy may be applied, but with this method it is difficult to achieve social development. Cognitive behavioral therapies aim to repeatedly teach social rules on how the child should behave in a specific space. The elimination of problem behaviors and adherence to social rules is mistakenly considered betterment. Such behaviors are reproduced under very limited conditions, and if the environment changes, the child cannot adapt to the change and continues with a mechanical response, revealing their unskilledness and lack of natural understanding.

However, children with mild autism spectrum disorder or Asperger syndrome will experience swift betterment if they follow the Dr. Tomato protocol. This process develops as the social development stage of school-aged children. In other words, they will build the fundamental abilities to develop social skills on their own, thus the ability to make friends appropriately, show deep empathy with others, and continue conversations with others. Parents raising a child with borderline autism or Asperger syndrome should understand the following three stages of improvement.


Understanding 3 development stages of Asperger syndrome betterment

3 stages of Asperger syndrome improvement with the Dr. Tomato Protocol
Social cognitive development
Development of independent social learning abilities
1. Yumin, a binovular twin who was degenerating to severe nonverbal autism

Asperger syndrome, although slight, also involves brain stem and sagittal damages. The abnormalities are caused by sensory processing disorder attributable to the damage to the brain stem and hypothalamus resulting in the instability of the autonomic nervous system. Therefore, the first prerequisite should be restoring sensory processing abilities and stabilizing the autonomic nervous system to ensure independent social development. This process is referred to as the sensory readjustment stage in the Dr. Tomato protocol, which typically takes six months.

Over the sensory readjustment period, the child stabilizes eye contact and adjusts auditory concentration to continue a conversation. Also, tactile defense and physical control is stabilized to correct abnormal behaviors and movements. By doing so, the child will have a better understanding of and interest in people.

In addition, as the instability of the autonomic nervous system is improved, the child escapes from the chronic anxiety, sleep disturbance, and attention deficit. In particular, recovering from psychological disorders is an essential condition for promoting spontaneousness in social development. It is evident that no cognitive behavioral therapies or educational therapies are effective without sensory readjustment. However, the Dr. Tomato protocol solves the fundamental problem and makes it possible to overcome Asperger syndrome.

2. Social cognitive development (average treatment period 1-2 years)

Even if successfully readjusting sensation (sensory ability), children with Asperger syndrome will not develop sociality in one day. Now they can make a correct sensory response to new experience, hence they are just ready for new social development. But the experience in erroneous, immature social performance driven by Asperger syndrome still remains. Thus, they will continue making errors based on instable social exchange abilities attributable to their past experience and memories.
But they are different now. They have the ability to independently correct errors in new experiences. In this stage, they actively experience errors and correct their behaviors to develop social cognitive abilities. In the Dr. Tomato protocol, this period is referred to as social cognitive development.

The most powerful force that develops cognitive ability is positively experiencing and reflecting on errors. The absolute necessity here is friendly and gentle conversation and guidance from parents and family members, and if possible, the help of caring friends. Through the cognitive development period, the child will self-reflect on immature social behaviors, correct his/her own behavior, enhance adaptability, and develop sophisticated social skills.
As a result, the child will have the ability to make back and forth conversation with a variety of people. The child will talk with people more and have deeper conversations, thus, deeper relationships. In addition, the child will be interested in diverse social groups and seek various interactions. Over time, the child’s immatureness in social interactions (depending on the context of what they learn) will be removed, hence his/her autistic tendencies will be eliminated.

3. Development of independent social learning abilities (average treatment period 1-2 years)

Going through the social cognitive development, children with Asperger syndrome begin to develop the ability to adapt to new social environments on their own without the help of others. In other words, they can predict what they will face and decide their own behavior in new environments without help from parents or friends. And if they face an error, they can revise plans and act on new strategies, i.e., strategic correction. In this stage, they develop cognitive abilities to reason the future in new environments and recognize and correct their own issues/problems.

Now, they develop the ability to establish social behavioral strategies to adapt to new environments without trial and error. In other words, they build creative social leadership to analyze the future by themselves and therefore plan their actions. In the end, the completion of social development should not simply mean getting along well with friends. The ultimate goal should be to grow them as persons who can exert social leadership with their abilities and talents.

Patient conversation and help from family members and friends is essential until they develop social skills on their own. With the help of family and friends they overcome Asperger syndrome and grow as persons who display social leadership.