A Diagnosis of Asperger's Syndrome
A medical doctor and psychological professional are qualified to make an official diagnosis of Asperger's syndrome. The public schools does not have a special education category for Asperger's syndrome, but one exists for eductional autism. Some students with Asperger's syndrome qualify for special education services with a label of eductional autism. Others may qualify for these services based on other areas of need (such as speech and language disorder).
The Amercian Psychological Association recognizes Asperger's syndrome and offers the following description to assistance with diagnosis...
Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (4th Edition) Description of Asperger's Syndrome (299.80)A. Qualitative impairment in social interaction, as manifested by at least two of the following:
- marked impairments in the use of multiple nonverbal behaviors such as eye-to-eye gaze, facial expression, body postures, and gestures to regulate social interaction
- failure to develop peer relationships appropriate to developmental level
- a lack of spontaneous seeking to share enjoyment, interests, or achievements with other people (e.g. by a lack of showing, bringing, or pointing out objects of interest to other people)
- lack of social or emotional reciprocity
- encompassing preoccupation with one or more stereotyped and restricted patterns of interest that is abnormal either in intensity or focus
- apparently inflexible adherence to specific, nonfunctional routines or rituals
- stereotyped and repetitive motor mannerisms (e.g., hand or finger flapping or twisting, or complex whole-body movements)
- persistent preoccupation with parts of objects
D. There is no clinically significant general delay in language (e.g., single words used by age 2 years, communicative phrases used by age 3 years)
E. There is no clinically significant delay in cognitive development or in the development of age-appropriate self-help skills, adaptive behavior (other than social interaction), and curiosity about the environment in childhood
F. Criteria are not met for another specific Pervasive Developmental Disorder or Schizophrenia