Is Asperger’s a real diagnosis?

Diagnosis is a medical term for a label that helps professionals communicate about the cluster of symptoms they see in a person they are treating.  The criteria for making a diagnosis follow the DSM 5 Manual.  As of the May 2013 publishing, Asperger’s is no longer a specific diagnosis.  The behaviors, challenges, and symptoms still exist for an individual but will no longer be medically labeled Asperger’s.

Asperger’s isn’t the only diagnosis that changed- all the autism diagnoses changed with the new edition of the DSM.  Instead of there being several autism related diagnoses (autistic disorder, Asperger’s disorder, childhood disintegrative disorder, and pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified)  there is now one diagnosis called autism spectrum disorder or ASD. According to the American Psychological Association, this will help  to more accurately diagnose all individuals showing the signs of autism.

For more information about these changes see the Autism Society’s response to the change.

If you want a history of the change and opinions from both sides- this is a great news article from Slate.

Where should my child be tested or get diagnosised?

Though diagnosis by a medical professional (MD or PhD) is necessary for certain documentation and programs, the wait for an assessment can be long.  Being assessed and treated through your local school district or counseling provider can be a first step while awaiting formal diagnosis.

Medical professionals in East Central Illinois who offer diagnostic services are:

TED talk from Ami Klin

Ami Klin (an award winning researcher in the field of Autism Spectrum Disorder) discusses how autism develops and how autism might be diagnosed in the future.

Asperger’s Diagnostic Assessment

assessmentAsperger’s Diagnostic Assessment a DVD by Tony Attwood.

(XAS Attwo 2004)

This DVD features Tony Attwood lecturing on the diagnostic characteristic of Asperger’s Syndrome and describing a process for explaining the diagnosis to a child or adult. It also features an interview with a young man with Asperger’s and his parents. Disc One: 3 hours, Disc Two: 56 minutes. This video comes with 76 page program guide.

If available, item can be checked out from the resource room at no cost.

Autism Speaks 100 Day Kit

kitAutism Speaks 100 Day Kit

(XAB Autis 2010).

This is a tool kit to assist families in getting the critical information they need in the first 100 Days after an autism diagnosis.

If available, can be checked out from resource room at no cost.

Or request a download here.

Autistic Spectrum Disorders

Autistic Spectrum Disorders: Best Practice Guidelines for Screening, Diagnosis and Assessment  by the California Department of Developmental Services.

(XAB ASD 2002)
Based on validated scientific evidence, clinical experience and clinical judgment, the Guidelines provides professionals, policymakers, parents and other stakeholders with detailed “best practice” recommendations and rationale for screening, evaluating and assessing individuals suspected of having autistic spectrum disorders. Pp. 183.

If available, this can be checked out from the resource room at no cost.

Autism Spectrum Disorders from A to Z

a to zAutism Spectrum Disorders from A to Z  by Barbara T Doyle and Emily Doyle Iland.

(XAB Doyle 2004)

This book is a simply written, comprehensive introduction to autism spectrum disorders, their diagnosis, and the impact diagnosis may have on families. Pp. 462.

If available, this can be checked out from the resource room at no cost.

Understanding Autism for DUMMIES

for dummiesUnderstanding Autism for DUMMIES by Stephen Shore and Linda Rastelli.

(XAB shore 2006)

This is a guide that explains the symptoms of autism, how it’s diagnosed, and the current options for treatment. The reader will get helpful information on the latest in genetic and biomedical research as well as coverage of special-needs financial planning, legal rights for education, and more. Pp. 356.

If available, this can be checked out from the resource room at no cost.

Does My Child Have Autism?

ImageDoes My Child Have Autism? by Wendy L. Stone and Theresa Foy DiGeronimo.

(XAB Stone 2006)

Read through this book and learn what experts, teachers, and clinicians in the field recognize as signs and symptoms of autism. The author describes the diagnostic process for young children with autism and offers vital information about what will be expected of you and your child during the clinical assessment process. Pp. 198.

If available, this can be checked out from the resource room at no cost.