Asperger’s syndrome is part of a group of neurological disorders known as autism spectrum disorders. Asperger’s is at the mild end of this spectrum.
People can be diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome at any age, but a diagnosis is usually made when a child is six or older.
Some people are diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome as adults, when they recognise they have been experiencing Asperger’s symptoms throughout their life.
A diagnosis of Asperger’s syndrome can be difficult and confronting for everybody involved. But it’s important because it helps the person and those who care for them to understand what’s happening and to access help and support.
Diagnosis in children
If you think your child may have Asperger’s syndrome, you may want to talk to your doctor or to your child health nurse.
If they think your child could have Asperger’s syndrome, you may be referred to a specialist in diagnosing autism spectrum disorders, or to a team of health professionals who work together in assessing children.
The specialists or team will talk to you and your child, and others in your family, and will observe your child.
They will use several types of assessment tests to work out if your child has Asperger’s syndrome. The assessment will usually include questions about social and emotional abilities, communication skills, learning abilities, movement skills and special interests.
If it’s thought your child has Asperger’s syndrome, there are ways to help.
The process of assessment can involve appointments with many people over a long period. The Raising Children Network has an online ‘Autism Services Pathfinder’ that can help you understand the process and find help and resources along the way.
Last reviewed: November 2016