Are there any specific tests for diagnosing Asperger’s syndrome in adults? Scroll down to learn about the diagnostic tools or screening tests that may be used for the diagnosis of this developmental disorder in adults.
Asperger’s syndrome is a pervasive developmental disorder that is placed under the category of autism spectrum disorders. It was first identified by an Austrian pediatrician named Hans Asperger. He first described this disorder in 1944 and called it ‘autistic psychopathy’. This neurological disorder is marked by impaired social interaction. Children affected by this syndrome have a hard time expressing themselves. Repetitive behavior is another characteristic of this disorder. People affected by this high-functioning form of autism often insist on adhering to rituals or routines. If this disorder stays undiagnosed during childhood, it would persist through adulthood as well. Due to the difficulties pertaining to communication and social interaction, adults affected by this developmental disorder are likely to face problems in their lives, at the personal as well as professional front. Diagnosing Asperger’s syndrome is therefore of utmost importance.
Causes and Symptoms
There isn’t conclusive scientific evidence on the causes of this disorder, but it is believed that abnormalities in the structure of the brain could be responsible for this condition. Some people might be genetically disposed to developing this syndrome. The underlying genetic component is attributed to the fact that this condition has been seen to run in families. The symptoms appear during childhood. The symptoms include:
► Impaired verbal and non-verbal communication.
► Inability to respond to emotional or social situations
► Strange body language
► Fixation with certain activities
► Repetitive and strange body movements
► Heightened sensitivity to loud noises or bright lights
► Lack of variations in speech
A study of the symptoms exhibited by an individual can certainly help in diagnosing this developmental disorder in children as well as adults. Individuals affected by this syndrome may have normal to above-normal intelligence. If this condition is not diagnosed in childhood, some of these symptoms may persist when such children turn into adults.
► Impaired social interaction
► Difficulty in forming relationships
► Inability to understand and reciprocate emotions
► Inability to comprehend the perspective of others around them
► Inappropriate reactions
► Following particular routines
► Agitation in the event of a change in their routines
► Obsession with specialized interests
If they pursue a career related to their hobby, they can really excel. If diagnosed at an early stage, both children and adults affected by this condition have a chance of leading better lives.
The diagnosis of Asperger’s syndrome involves an in-depth study of the interactions of affected individuals in social settings. While there is the option of taking an online test or questionnaires to see if one exhibits the symptoms of this condition, it is always better to let a medical expert analyze the symptoms.
Autism diagnostic observation module IV (ADOS), psychiatric diagnostic manual called DSM-IV, interviews, or IQ tests are some of the screening tools that are used for diagnosing this condition in adults. Doctors also try to assess the patient’s personal developmental history, intelligence, adaptive behavior, communication skills, and social interaction. Once this condition is diagnosed, family members can help such a person improve upon his/her social skills. Therapy can help the affected persons cope with this neurological disorder. Cognitive behavioral therapy and social training are integral to the treatment. Sessions with a trained therapist can help the patient realize his/her strengths and help him/her lead productive lives.
The treatment of this syndrome basically involves helping the patients come to terms with their situation and improving their social skills. An early diagnosis increases the chances of a patient having a better life.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a medical expert.