Asperger's syndrome is a developmental condition in which people have difficulties
understanding how to interact socially. A diagnosis is best made with input
from parents, doctors, teachers, and other caregivers who know or who have
observed the child. Asperger's syndrome is diagnosed when specific criteria are
met. These include:
Poor social interaction.
behavior, interests, and activities.
No delay in language
No delay in self-help skills and curiosity about the
Your doctor will take a medical history by asking questions
about your child's development, including information about motor development,
language, areas of special interest, and social interactions. He or she will
also ask about the mother's pregnancy and the family's history of medical
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Testing can help your doctor find out whether your
child's problem is related to Asperger's syndrome. Your primary care provider
may refer your child to a specialist for testing, including:
Psychological assessment. Intellectual function and learning style are evaluated. IQ
(intelligence quotient) and motor skills tests are common. Personality
assessment tests may also be done.
Communication assessment. Speech and formal language are evaluated. Children are
tested to find out how well they understand and use language to communicate
ideas. Your doctor will also test for understanding of nonverbal forms of
communication and nonliteral language skills, such as understanding of humor or
metaphor. He or she will listen to your child's voice for volume, stress, and
Psychiatric examination. Your doctor
may examine your child's family and peer relationships, reactions to new
situations, and the ability to understand the feelings of others and types of
indirect communication such as teasing and sarcasm. Your doctor may want to
observe your child at home and at school. He or she may also look for
conditions such as
depression, which are often found in people with
When making a diagnosis, your doctor will see if your child
meets the criteria published in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), a publication of the American
In this article
This information is produced and provided by the National
Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National
Institute via the Internet web site at http://
.gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
January 28, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor.
Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this