We recently discovered this Aspergers Checklist which gives a good level of detail into diagnosis of Aspergers. One of the interesting things it mentions is that Aspergers Syndrome is particularly difficult to diagnose in younger children and toddlers.
It includes a number of factors which would not normally be used in the diagnosis of adults but can be used in children due to the lack of visibility of other symptoms ( behavioral and personality symptoms)
- Metabolic screening – Using blood and urines test to understand the metabolism of food.
- Magnetic resonance imaging – These use detailed imagery of the brain to detect abnormalities
- CAT scan – Using X-rays to detect structural issues with the brain
- Genetic testing – Abnormalities within the genes are detected through the use of blood tests.
- Hearing tests using the Audio gram and Typanogram.
- Electroencephalogram – which measures brain abnormalities
As well as the above physical tests there are also the traditional behavioral checklist which can refer to such as looking for these characteristics:
Attachment to routines, often cause disturbances if changed. Someone with Aspergers is generally not very adaptable to change.
Lack of social skills
Difficulties in developing close friendships, having meaningful or deep conversations as well as tendency to isolate.
Limited emotional intelligence and irrational emotions
It is common for people with AS to have a very low sensitivity to the emotions of others. They have difficulty understanding both their own emotions as well as the emotions of others. That being said, it can also be common for extreme emotions to be expressed with very minor triggers.
Difficulty engaging in conversation
Talking about a subject obsessively as well as well as lack of eye contact during the conversation are big tell tale signs of AS.
Repetitive rituals and behaviors
This can be observed in the engagement of repetitive rituals such as body movements, habits and behaviors. Examples of this include hand flapping, twirling or obscure methods of play.
Impaired Motor skills
There is a delay or impairment of motor skills such as playing catch, riding a bike, tying shoelaces. Although not exclusive to AS this can often be an effect of the disorder. Often clumsiness or the inability to realize the boundaries of ones bodies.
Although this is not an in depth Aspergers checklist it does give a few major points to look for. If you are looking for a more rigid tool for diagnosis you might want to check out the Asperger Test developed by Simon Baron-Cohen.