A few people see a formal diagnosis as an unhelpful label; however, for most people the importance and value of an early diagnosis cannot be emphasised enough.
Having a diagnosis will enable the appropriate support to be provided at the earliest opportunity to give the individual the maximum chance of fulfilling their potential. It may be the key needed to open the door to specialised support for example at school, college or with supported living or finding suitable employment.
Diagnosis can also help the individual, their family, partners, carers, friends, colleagues, etc to understand them better and manage their needs and behaviour.
Asperger syndrome varies widely from person to person, which can mean that making a diagnosis can be difficult.
Detecting or diagnosing Asperger syndrome may be more difficult during childhood and sometimes difficulties 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 instead of Asperger syndrome. However, people who have been given these diagnoses will have similar difficulties and similar support needs to those who have Asperger syndrome.
How to get a diagnosis:
Children and young people
The typical route for getting a diagnosis is to visit your GP. He or she can refer you to other health professionals who can make a formal diagnosis. Most often this will be a psychiatrist or clinical psychologist or perhaps a paediatrician or educational psychologist.
For information and help with diagnosis of Asperger syndrome please contact the Adult Services Team at Asperger East Anglia. Telephone 01603 598946 or 01603 598942 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also download the diagnosis referral form below: