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What Is Involved in Testing for Asperger's?

Many children and teens with Asperger's syndrome are highly intelligent.
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  • Written By: Ken Black
  • Edited By: Andrew Jones
  • Last Modified Date: 01 September 2014
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Testing for Asperger's Syndrome typically takes a litany of tests because there is not one conclusive test that can lead to a diagnosis. In most cases, the test will include a psychological assessment, a communication assessment, and a psychiatric examination. Often, testing for Asperger's may specifically include an intelligent quotient (IQ) test, the Childhood Autism Spectrum (CAST) test, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition test (DSM-IV), and the Asperger quotient test (AQ test).

For the psychological assessment, one of the first tests often undertaken is an IQ test. This test is common in testing for Asperger's because many of those who have, or who may have, the condition display a normal level of intelligence. While it may not rule out Asperger's if a lower IQ is discovered, the presence of a normal IQ means the other possibilities are severely limited.

The psychological assessment also encompasses many of the other personality assessment tests when testing for Asperger's. The DSM-IV, CAST test, or AQ test could be part of the process. Some doctors or medical professionals may feel the DSM-IV test has become outdated, last updated in 1994, long before a great deal of research was done into autism. Some tests, such as the CAST test, may be good both for higher-functioning levels of autism, such as Asperger's, and lower-functioning levels.

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Another one of the assessments undertaken in testing for Asperger's is a communication assessment. This test is very important because one of the primary ways Asperger's and other autism spectrum disorders show themselves is through communication problems. Children or adults may be tested to see how well they communicate thoughts and ideas, both verbally and in written form, if the individual has that ability to write. The evaluation will be scored by a psychologist often specializing in communication issues.

The other test that is often done is a psychiatric evaluation. While the psychiatrist may make ask some questions, this evaluation is most commonly done through observation. In particular, some of the things the evaluator will be looking for include repetitive behaviors, problems relating or socializing with others of the same age, and whether any inappropriate or out of place emotional outbursts occur.

Once all the assessments have been completed, each will be scored. It is highly unusual for the results of a single test to be the basis for a diagnosis of Asperger's Syndrome. Evaluators may seek other explanations if one test scores low, but others seem to be within normal parameters. Testing for Asperger's may take more than one day because of all the tests involved, especially if the patient is younger.

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anon952782
Post 3

My name is Harold. I am 51 years old, not sure if this is the right place to post this, but I have been looking at this site for a few days and I am wondering if I could have Asperger's?

I have had problems most of my life. Most don't seem like everyday things, for the most part. Sometimes I just don't think right, trying to save time or help someone and mess things up, and other times I have what I have called "panic attacks" where my mind just goes blank in stressful times. I have a lot of trouble explaining things to others. Most of the time, the other person has no idea what I said and does the opposite of what I said, this has happened with a lot of people so it can't be "them". I have been unable to hold jobs where a person is required to learn new tasks over time. I would ask to be put back in the job I was doing before and was always told that was entry level and I could not go back. I am now in a job that stays the same for the most part, but still have problems when "out of the ordinary" things happen.

I also lost my family a few years ago. My ex wife and two grown children kicked me out of their lives and disappeared from me to a point. I know they are O.K. from family and friends they are still in contact with, but I have no answers to why other than they saw me as a horrible person.

anon308116
Post 2

It might seem arrogant, but I don't feel any need to take a series of sophisticated tests to determine if I have Asperger's. Having spent a few hours online researching the topic, it has become entirely clear to me that this has been apparent since I was 10 years old.

Looking back, I think my father had Asperger's. Although he wanted to relate to his children, he simply wasn't capable of showing any real warmth or interest in any of us. He preferred to be by himself most of the time, just as I do, and had no chance of having a successful relationship with my mother.

It is unfortunate that I didn't gain this understanding at a much earlier age, as I probably would have adjusted my way of living to accept the limitations that Asperger's tends to impose. Instead, I tried to be too ambitious in my business, and have failed in too many ways.

Fortunately I don't have too much trouble in relating to other people in a reasonably satisfactory manner, although a close and warm relationship is well beyond me. However for many years I suffered a severe depression, and wonder if this was at least partly caused by the Asperger's.

Anyone who knows me at all well must consider me to be eccentric and quirky, but probably doesn't have much idea of how psychologically disabling the disorder can be. From now on I will try to accept my limitations as well as I can, and not take on any challenges which could be too demanding.

I hope that everyone who reads this post is also able to cope satisfactorily.

anon163181
Post 1

what is someone supposed to do if they have a family member who is in a field to look for this says to you that they think you have it. Doctors don't like it when you go to them and ask them to test you for certain things but i want to know if that is what is wrong with me.

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