Disclaimer: The information provided here is for educational purposes only. Consult a qualified medical professional for advice and clarification.
The table below provides a simplified version of the DSM-IV definition, used by professionals to diagnose disorders. To make a rough assessment of whether a person has Asperger’s Syndrome or not, tick the box under “ANS” if your client matches the description.
If you are diagnosing adults, please refer to their behavior as a young child. They may learned to cope through experience and may not fulfill the diagnostic criteria any more.
People with Asperger’s Syndrome (AS) tend to have normal to above-normal intelligence (as measured by IQ tests). They tend to exhibit what some call the “Walking Dictionary Syndrome” – a non-stop flood of words about their interests.
DSM-IV definition for Asperger’s Syndrome (299.80)
(I) Qualitative impairment in social interaction, as manifested by at least two of the following:
- (A) marked impairments in the use of multiple nonverbal behaviors such as eye-to-eye gaze, facial expression, body posture, & gestures to regulate social interaction
- (B) failure to develop peer relationships appropriate to developmental level
- (C) a lack of spontaneous seeking to share enjoyment, interest or achievements with other people, (e.g. by a lack of showing, bringing, or pointing out objects of interest to other people)
- (D) lack of social or emotional reciprocity
(II) Restricted repetitive & stereotyped patterns of behavior, interests, & activities, as manifested by at least one of the following:
- (A) encompassing preoccupation with one or more stereotyped & restricted patterns of interest that is abnormal either in intensity or focus
- (B) apparently inflexible adherence to specific, nonfunctional routines or rituals
- (C) stereotyped & repetitive motor mannerisms (e.g. hand or finger flapping or twisting, or complex whole-body movements)
- (D) persistent preoccupation with parts of objects
(III) The disturbance causes clinically significant impairments in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning.
(IV) There is no clinically significant general delay in language (e.g. single words used by age 2 years, communicative phrases used by age 3 years)
(V) There is no clinically significant delay in cognitive development or in the development of age-appropriate self help skills, adaptive behavior (other than in social interaction) & curiosity about the environment in childhood.
(VI) Criteria are not met for another specific Pervasive Developmental Disorder or Schizophrenia.