The impending mistake of the removal of Asperger’s Disorder from the DSM-V got me to thinking about what the exact opposite would look like: What if Asperger’s had diagnostic criteria not so similar to Autistic Disorder? What would those look like? So, I’ve taken a stab. Mind you, a work in progress, but let me know your thoughts, your additions, your disagreement.
- Eye Gaze: Reduced, averted, sidelong gaze; gaze directed to familiar people more frequently, appropriately and comfortably; reduced or little use of gaze for joint attention.
- Facial Expressions: Exaggerated (i.e. excited and angry only presentations), limited presentation, and/or limited directedness toward another.
- Few friends despite a desire to have some; poor understanding of friendship).
- May interact with others online (i.e. via video games, computer games).
- Struggles understanding the perspective of others and predicting the behavior of others.
- May appear to be conversationally competent when interacting with older individuals.
- May control or conduct imaginative play (if present) with little deviation from a “plan”.
- Struggles to understand what to say to peers; appears to have little intuitive ability to maintain a conversation.
- IQ may be extremely high, average, or, in rare cases, low average/borderline.
- Rigid, “black and white” thinking that can result in poor problem solving, understanding cause and effect relationships.
- Appears to understand or acts like he/she understand more than is accurate.
- Academic struggles may follow a reading-math split.
- Despite high/average intellect, may have poor grades due to apparent lack of motivation, dislike of competing homework.
- Poor organization of self and environment.
- History of specific toy or topical interests that initially may be age-appropriate but present as more encompassing or longer in duration (at which point the interests become no longer appropriate)
- Appears motivated by “fairness” and/or strong sense of justice, although that judgment, may not relate to right/wrong or morality.
- Possible meltdowns will triggers that are difficult to identify or that appear insignificant.
- Self-stimulatory behavior may be present with agitation (i.e. anxiety, excitement).
- Boys suspected with AS appear more hyperactive, inattentive, and behaviorally inappropriate, whereas girls present as more shy, withdrawn, and socially appropriate until pressed.
- Repetitive behaviors that may be highly non-fuctional
Daily Living/Adaptive Skills
- Significant prompting needed to remind for completion of activities of personal hygiene (it is recognized that sensory and or fine-motor concerns may influence lack of completion).
- Driving a vehicle may cause significant anxiety such that it inhibits the skill.
- Literal interpretation of language and poor use of figurative language.
- May have poor use of humor or demonstrate a very dry or slapstick sense of humor.
- May not utilize language flexibly.
- May demonstrate echolalia, especially at younger ages (2-4), especially with videos, tv, movies.
- May have demonstrated precocious language development – exceeding developmental milestones.
- Language delay may also be present, specifically not meeting early milestones for language production and/or articulation errors.
- May have vocal atypicalities: Breathing during words so that the word is broken up, noises that sound like tics, repetition of the start of sentences.
- Hypo- and hyper-sensitivities related to auditory, tactile, visual, and vestibular processing.
- Restricted diet consisting of limited items with similar presentation (tastes may vary from bland, spicy, salty, sweet)
- Reliance on certain fabrics for self-soothing, which can result in repetitive wardrobe
- Gross-motor concerns: Clumsiness, lack of coordination