We carry out diagnostic assessments for milder, high-functioning types of autism (formerly known as Asperger's Syndrome in DSM-IV) for children and adults (our reports are accepted by the HSE, CAMHS, NEPS etc). Asperger's Syndrome is an autism spectrum condition characterised by poor social skills, restricted and repetitive interests and behaviours. Like other autistic conditions, Asperger's is more common in males than females. Asperger's is believed to have a largely genetic aetiology, and neuroimaging studies have shown that individuals with the condition demonstrate some atypical brain structure and functioning (amygdala, fusiform gyrus etc.).
Individuals with Asperger's have milder autistic symptoms than those with classic autism, and usually have better daily living skills. However, they often experience considerable difficulty interpreting social cues and knowing how to act in social situations. This may lead to difficulty making friends, social isolation, low mood and/or anxiety. People with Asperger's have a preference for routines and experience difficulty switching their attention between tasks (i.e., multi-tasking). They often develop obsessive interests in certain topics.
Asperger's Syndrome is diagnosed using psychometric test batteries, rating scales, checklists, interviews and clinical observations. As part of the assessment process, we may request reports from other professionals (e.g., Speech and Language Therapists, Occupational Therapists, Psychiatrists), and make referrals as necessary.
Research suggests that individuals with Asperger's who are diagnosed and receive appropriate interventions/supports as children will often go on to function better in life (in terms of social abilities, daily living skills etc.) than those who receive their diagnosis/treatment later in life.