Diagnosing Asperger's-Who Can Do It?
Asperger’s affects social interaction, communication, regulation and any other sensory motor issues. Diagnosing asperger’s is the first step towards developing an intervention program for the child. All the children who are diagnosed of Asperger’s do not receive the same kind of treatment. Each child is different.
Diagnosing Asperger’s: Every child who is categorised as having Asperger’s syndrome or any other autism spectrum disorder for that matter, does not exhibit the same traits of the disease. This is the most basic thing that one should understand.
- Each child should be assessed for his/her own strengths and deficits after which only can a therapeutic program be designed for them.
- The initial assessment and diagnosis of the disorder can either be done by a psychiatrist, clinical psychologist or speech language pathologist.
Psychiatrist: The initial assessment of the disorder in a child is first done by quizzing the parents or care takers.
- The child’s interaction with the parents is assessed. The assessment is based upon the parent-child interaction and the amount of time (both leisurely and socially) that parents dedicate to their child is questioned.
- Apart from the quality of the parent-child relationship, relationship with peers is also necessarily addressed.
- Self-awareness, behavioural problems, social issues and reaction to typical situations are also a necessary part of the diagnosis.
- Any behavioural issue that can present an obstacle during the therapy is also marked.
- Other associated issues like depression, panic and anxiety attacks and compulsive disorders are also assessed for.
Clinical Psychologist: A psychologist primarily concentrates on the assessment of the overall intellect. The following areas are necessary for a psychologist to study before making the final assessment-
- neuropsychological functioning-visual perception, memory skills, problem solving
- adaptive functioning-self-dependency levels
- academic functioning-performance at school
- personality-mood assessment, pre-occupations and routines
Speech Language Pathologist: A speech language pathologist concentrates on both the quality and quantity aspects of speech.
- The child’s level of communication both verbally and non-verbally and his/her ability to interpret typical facial reactions is assessed.
Diagnosing asperger’s and differentiating it from other autism spectrum disorders is essential for a proper development of the child.