Diagnosis of Asperger Syndrome

Asperger syndrome (AS) is a disorder of the autism spectrum characterized by restrictive and repetitive patterns of interests and behavior along with difficulties in nonverbal communication and social interaction. Asperger has been the subject of many medical negligence claims because it is often misdiagnosed with other disorders such as ADHD and OCD.

Although Asperger syndrome is related to autism, individuals who suffer from this condition fail to meet the diagnostic criteria for other developmental disorder, because they have normal to above average intelligence and show exceptional abilities in fields such as science or math, highly logical thinking and intense focus. These individuals are the most disadvantages in terms of getting a correct diagnosis as they have the most hidden for of autistic spectrum disorder (ASD).

A child must have a correct diagnosis of Asperger syndrome in order to get specialized educational services, including one-to-one education. They can also get into a special program that offers $50,000 a year worth services. If a medical health care professional fails to provide an accurate diagnostic, he might be liable for medical negligence claims. With proper education, individuals with Asperger can become high-functioning adults that are able to compensate for their difficulties in social functioning.

The diagnosis of AS can be complicated by several factors, including controversy over the distinction between this condition and autism spectrum disorder, disagreement regarding diagnostic criteria, under-diagnosis and over-diagnosis. An early diagnosis is important and health care professionals must perform a differential diagnosis. Moreover, the diagnosis process can be influenced by the individual who administers the test or by the screening tool used. It is not uncommon for the same child to receive different diagnoses after the family consults another specialist.
Furthermore, children of normal intelligence who do not meet the autistic spectrum diagnostic criteria but have social difficulties are often misdiagnosed with AS. The expansion of benefits and the increased popularity of drug treatment has encouraged doctors to diagnose AS and ASD, resulting in over-diagnosis with uncertain symptoms. In contrast to this, the cost of diagnosis and screening and the difficulty of obtaining payment can delay or obstruct diagnosis.

Asperger can be misdiagnosed with a number of conditions, such as obsessive compulsive disorder, selective mutism, bipolar disorder, depression, ADHD, schizophrenia, nonverbal learning disorder and multiple complex developmental disorder. Diagnostic confusions may lead to unnecessary medication, unhelpful therapies and even even worsen behavior. Differentiating between AS and other disorders relies on the judgment of clinicians, increasing the risk of a misdiagnosis because of medical negligence.

Comments are closed.