Assessment

Should be conducted by a multi-disciplinary team and is based on observation as well as interviews. Some of the questions you may have been asked about your child may have included:

1: Social:

  • Do they ever misinterpret other people’s intentions or show a lack of social awareness?
  • Do they seem oblivious to what others are thinking about them or seem unaware of how they may appear to others?
  • Have they had difficulty making and keeping friends?
  • Have they had difficulty understanding and responding appropriately to other people’s feelings?
  • Have they had difficulty joining in with larger, unstructured social groups?
  • Are they withdrawn in social situations and prefer solitary pursuits?
  • Do they use eye contact in an inappropriate manner (i.e. either not looking at people’s eyes or staring)?
  • Can they recognise subtle emotional cues in others?

2: Communication:

  • Do they have difficulty understanding non-literal language and take everything literally?
  • Is there a difference between the person’s vocabulary and their USE of language (ability to use language in social situations)?
  • Do they often say the wrong thing in social situations?
  • Do they tend to provide either too much or too little information when they are talking, and talk AT someone, rather than with them?

3: Restrictive interests:

  • Have they always tended to get totally immersed into one area of interest or activity to the exclusion of all others (also known as an obsession)?
  • Is it hard for them to change topics from their area of interest to something someone else wants to talk about?
  • Have they ever had an overwhelming need to do some things the same way every time? Or do things in a certain sequence? Drive the same way home every time?
  • Have they ever insisted on eating the same foods every day, or wearing the same clothes over and over again?
  • Do they resist change?

What to expect when you go for a diagnostic assessment for Asperger Syndrome?

Most assessments will use a multidisciplinary team which means you should expect a few different professionals from different fields (i.e. speech pathologist, psychologist, occupational therapist). These people will want to observe you and your child how you interact and how the child copes with changes in routine and so forth.

Sometimes assessments can take 2-3 hours, or a whole day, depending on the team doing the assessment and you should be able to get a result on the same day. Be prepared with any questions you want to ask them so that you can benefit from the specialist’s advice and expertise.

Some things you may like to ask are:
– where to access services
– what this means for your child
– how to explain the diagnosis to your child and your family

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