Monday, September 12, 2011

Diagnosing Asperger's

If you feel that your child might suffer from Asperger's syndrome, there are many different ways to diagnose it. Most doctors will recommend a full battery of tests that check many different aspects of the child's development. There is no one definitive test that can tell a parent if their child suffers from Asperger's, so an entire group of tests are usually performed for diagnosing Asperger's.

The first step for most kids in getting a proper Asperger's diagnosis is undergoing screening at the doctor's that measures things like cognitive development.

As any mother can tell you, these screenings are completely normal and every child goes through them. It is usually at these screenings that a doctor can tell if there is a problem or not and whether a referral should be made to a specialist.

The second step is actually when your child would be assessed in order to make a diagnosis. This can be carried out by more than one health professional, so it may involve a number of appointments who would want to see your child and also speak in detail to you about their behavior.

The team of doctors that the child will interact with is wide-ranging. It usually includes a speech therapist to determine if the child's language skills are developing correctly, a psychiatrist to help analyze the mental development of the child, a neurologist to look for any problems in the child's nervous system and any other doctors that the child's pediatrician feels is necessary to properly diagnose the child.

The team of doctors and analysts will submit a neurological assessment of the patient, as well as a genetic assessment to see if things like autism of Asperger's runs in the family. The child will also undergo I.Q. tests, tests to judge his psychomotor development, and a complete evaluation of communication skills as well as the ability to maintain eye contact and to understand verbal cues that a healthy child at the same age would react to.

Once all the testing is complete, the test results will be combined with any symptoms that the child is showing and also take the child's developmental history into consideration before making a determination. At this point, a decision is usually made one way or the other.

Asperger's disorder can change the way you and your child live your life, and while it is not nearly as debilitating as a diagnosis of autism, it will impact almost all aspects of your child's life, depending on the severity. He or she can still go on to live a full, enriching and rewarding life, but things socially may be very awkward as years go on.

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While there is no conclusive proof, it is thought that people such as Albert Einstein and even Sir Isaac Newton might have had Asperger's syndrome. So, diagnosing Asperger's is far from a social death sentence for any child, it just means living your life in a different way than you might have originally imagined.

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