Education and Counseling for Individuals Affected by Autism Spectrum Disorders


Popular Screening Tools for Aspergers and Autism


What kind of assessment tools do clinicians use when they are trying to determine whether or not a child or teen has Aspergers or Autism?


There are many (with new ones coming along all the time) …so I have listed the “most used” screening tools to date. These include:

1. Aspergers/High Functioning Autism (HFA) Screening Tools
2. Autism Screening Tools
3. Developmental and Behavioral Screening Tools

Aspergers/HFA Screening Tools (4 years to adult) —

Most Aspergers/HFA screening tools are designed for use with older kids, and are used to differentiate these disorders from other ASDs and/or other developmental disorders (e.g., mental retardation and language delays). These tools concentrate on social and behavioral impairment in kids four years of age and older (up to adulthood), who usually develop without significant language delay. Qualitatively, these tools are quite different from the early childhood screening tools, highlighting more social-conversational and perseverative-behavioral concerns.
  • Australian Scale for Asperger Syndrome (ASAS) by Michelle Garnett, M. Clinical Psychology, Anthony Attwood, Ph.D. (for kids 5 and older)
  • Autism Spectrum Screening Questionnaire (ASSQ) by Stephen Ehlers, Ph.D., Christopher Gillberg, Ph.D., Lorna Wing, Ph.D. (Published in 1999 in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 29,129-141) (for kids 7-16)
  • Social Communication Questionnaire (SCQ) by Catherine Lord, Ph.D., Sir Michael Rutter, Ph.D., et al. (for kids 4 and older)

Autism Screening Tools (4 years to adult) —

Most autism screening tools are designed to detect ASDs specifically, concentrate on social and communication impairment in kids 18 months of age and older, and focus on all three DSM-IV criteria for autism. Their limitations lie in the lack of highly validated autism screening tools available for kids under 18 months of age. Since autism screening ideally would follow a developmental screening that has indicated concerns, the administering clinician should directly observe the youngster in addition to using an autism screening tool questionnaire.
  • Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers (M-CHAT) by Diana Robins, M.A., Deborah Fein, Ph.D., et al. (for kids 16-30 months)

Developmental and Behavioral Screening Tools (Birth to 36 Months) —

Most developmental and behavioral screening tools have a wide application with kids of varying ages, allow flexibility to capture “parent report’ with minimal assistance, ask less threatening and more universal questions of mothers and fathers, and coordinate with hallmark developmental milestones. Because of their broad use, developmental and behavioral tools often lack the sensitivity to screen specifically for autism and therefore require follow up with an autism screening tool when a developmental screening raises concerns.
  • Ages and Stages Questionnaire (ASQ-3) by Jane Squires, Ph.D. & Diane Bricker, Ph.D. et al. (for kids 1-66 months)
  • Ages and Stages Questionnaire: Social-Emotional (ASQ:SE) by Jane Squires, Ph.D. & Diane Bricker, Ph.D. & Elizabeth Twombly, M.S. (for kids 6-60 months)
  • Brief-Infant-Toddler Social-Emotional Assessment (BITSEA) by Margaret Briggs-Gowan, Ph.D. and Alice Carter, Ph.D. (for kids 12-36 months)
  • Child Development Inventory by Harold Ireton, Ph.D. et al. (for kids 0-6 years)
  • CSBS DP Infant-Toddler Checklist by Amy Wetherby, Ph.D. & Barry Prizant, Ph.D. (for kids 6-24 months)
  • Parents Evaluation of Developmental Status (PEDS) by Frances Page Glascoe, Ph.D. (for kids 0-8 years)
  • Parents Evaluation of Developmental Status-Developmental Milestones (PEDS:DM) by Frances Page Glascoe, Ph.D. (for kids 0-8 years)
  • Social-Emotional Growth Chart by Stanley I. Greenspan, MD (for kids 0-42 months)
  • Temperament and Atypical Behavior Scale (TABS) by Stephen J. Bagnato, Ed.D., John T. Neisworth, Ph.D., et al. (for kids 11-71 months)
The Aspergers Comprehensive Handbook

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My child has been rejected by his peers, ridiculed and bullied !!!

Social rejection has devastating effects in many areas of functioning. Because the Aspergers child tends to internalize how others treat him, rejection damages self-esteem and often causes anxiety and depression. As the child feels worse about himself and becomes more anxious and depressed – he performs worse, socially and intellectually.

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How to Prevent Meltdowns in Aspergers Children

Meltdowns are not a pretty sight. They are somewhat like overblown temper tantrums, but unlike tantrums, meltdowns can last anywhere from ten minutes to over an hour. When it starts, the Asperger's child is totally out-of-control. When it ends, both you and the Asperger’s child are totally exhausted. But... don’t breathe a sigh of relief yet. At the least provocation, for the remainder of that day -- and sometimes into the next - the meltdown can return in full force.

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Parenting Defiant Aspergers Teens

Although Aspergers is at the milder end of the autism spectrum, the challenges parents face when disciplining a teenager with Aspergers are more difficult than they would be with an average teen. Complicated by defiant behavior, the Aspergers teen is at risk for even greater difficulties on multiple levels – unless the parents’ disciplinary techniques are tailored to their child's special needs.

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Aspergers Children “Block-Out” Their Emotions

Parenting children with Aspergers and HFA can be a daunting task. In layman’s terms, Aspergers is a developmental disability that affects the way children develop and understand the world around them, and is directly linked to their senses and sensory processing. This means they often use certain behaviors to block out their emotions or response to pain.

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Older Teens and Young Adult Children With Aspergers Still Living At Home

Your older teenager or young “adult child” isn’t sure what to do, and he is asking you for money every few days. How do you cut the purse strings and teach him to be independent? Parents of teens with Aspergers face many problems that other parents do not. Time is running out for teaching their adolescent how to become an independent adult. As one mother put it, "There's so little time, yet so much left to do."

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Living with an Aspergers Spouse/Partner

Research reveals that the divorce rate for people with Aspergers is around 80%. Why so high!? The answer may be found in how the symptoms of Aspergers affect intimate relationships. People with Aspergers often find it difficult to understand others and express themselves. They may seem to lose interest in people over time, appear aloof, and are often mistaken as self-centered, vain individuals.

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Online Parent Coaching for Parents of Asperger's Children

If you’re the parent of a child with Aspergers or High-Functioning Autism, you know it can be a struggle from time to time. Your child may be experiencing: obsessive routines; problems coping in social situations; intense tantrums and meltdowns; over-sensitivity to sounds, tastes, smells and sights; preoccupation with one subject of interest; and being overwhelmed by even the smallest of changes.

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Unraveling The Mystery Behind Asperger's and High-Functioning Autism

Parents, teachers, and the general public have a lot of misconceptions of Asperger's and High-Functioning Autism. Many myths abound, and the lack of knowledge is both disturbing and harmful to kids and teens who struggle with the disorder.

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Parenting Children and Teens with High-Functioning Autism

Two traits often found in kids with High-Functioning Autism are “mind-blindness” (i.e., the inability to predict the beliefs and intentions of others) and “alexithymia” (i.e., the inability to identify and interpret emotional signals in others). These two traits reduce the youngster’s ability to empathize with peers. As a result, he or she may be perceived by adults and other children as selfish, insensitive and uncaring.

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to read the full article...

My Aspergers Child - Syndicated Content