Diagnosing Asperger Syndrome
Very few people see a formal diagnosis as an unhelpful label; however, for the majority of people the importance of an early diagnosis is invaluable.
Having a diagnosis will enable the appropriate support to be provided at the earliest opportunity available to give the individual the maximum chance of fulfilling their complete potential. It may be the key needed to open the door to specialised support at school, college, supported living, or finding suitable employment.
A diagnosis can also help the individual, their family, partners, carers, friends, colleagues, etc. to understand the individual better and manage their needs and behaviour.
Asperger syndrome varies widely from person to person, possibly making a diagnosis difficult.
Detecting or diagnosing may be more difficult during childhood and sometimes characteristics may not be recognised or diagnosed until adulthood.
Sometimes people may receive a diagnosis of High-Functioning Autism (HFA) or Pervasive Developmental Disorder - Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS) or Semantic Pragmatic Disorder (SPD) instead of Asperger syndrome. However, people who have been given these diagnoses will have similar difficulties and support needs to those who have Asperger syndrome.
How to get a diagnosis:
Children and Young People:
The typical route is to visit your GP. They can refer you to other health professionals who will make a formal diagnosis. Most often this will be a psychiatrist, clinical psychologist, educational psychologist, or perhaps a paediatrician.