HELP FOR PARENTS OF CHILDREN WITH ASPERGER'S & HIGH-FUNCTIONING AUTISM

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Testing a Child for Aspergers

How do they test a child for Aspergers?

There are several tests. We will look at the two prominent ones:

1. The ASDS—

The Asperger Syndrome Diagnostic Scale (ASDS) offers a viable way of measuring whether or not a youngster has Aspergers. This exam is easy to administer and it yields reliable results.

The ASDS was developed to help determine if a youngster is likely to have the disorder. This developmental exam consists of fifty yes/no questions that take about fifteen minutes to complete.

• The Asperger test scores are evaluated and rated on an Aspergers scale.
• The results are compared between the subject and other kids with Aspergers.
• These results reveal whether or not the youngster is likely to have the disorder.

While the ASDS score is not a formal diagnosis, it helps to determine if the youngster should have further evaluation. The results are quite reliable, and the process helps to move the youngster along quicker when it comes to attaining a proper diagnosis of Aspergers.

Administering the ASDS exam is a relatively uncomplicated process. The rating scale is simple to use and merely consists of carefully chosen inquiries. Ironically, the youngster does not take the exam. Just about anyone who knows the youngster well answers the fifty questions.

People who qualify to take the ASDS for a youngster include his mother/father, brothers/sisters, educators, or a therapist who works directly with the youngster. The questions can be completed in about fifteen minutes. This test is designed to assess kids ages five through eighteen.

There are 50 questions on the ASDS. These inquiries cover five different aspects of behavior:

1. cognition
2. language skills
3. maladaptive behavior
4. sensorimotor
5. social interactions

The exam questions cover each of these areas:

• Social interaction skills vary from one-on-one to being in a group as well as family interactions.
• Sensorimotor questions would include inquires about reactions to sensory input and questions about gross motor skills.
• Maladaptive behavior concerns stereotyped repetitive movements, inflexibility, and tantrums.
• Language skills measures the youngster’s ability to manage spoken and written communication.
• Cognitive questions concern how the youngster processes information.

The ASDS is a valuable tool for you to gain insight to a possible developmental delay. Aspergers is difficult to detect in many cases because the kids are typically high functioning and quite intelligent.

2. The CAST—

Another well-known Aspergers test is the Childhood Asperger Syndrome Test (CAST), which is a valuable tool for evaluating kids who might have the disorder. It's easy to administer and well organized.

Exams like this have been developed to help families with high-functioning kids receive the necessary screening. The CAST is also used for epidemiological research.

The inspiration for the CAST is twofold:

1. Sensory overload is a noteworthy problem that can lead to negative behavior and tantrums. Social interaction proves to be a great hurdle, and many kids are overwhelmed in unusual situations.

2. High-functioning kids who have this disorder are faced with many significant challenges. They might struggle through many common day-to-day activities and often feel great anxiety.

Unfortunately, very high-functioning kids who have Aspergers are not understood by others. This is often due to the simple fact that the condition has not been discovered. Many of these kids grow up without a diagnosis and without any treatment interventions.

Epidemological research seeks to make connections between certain conditions and possible contributing factors. The CAST collects data about a certain population (those who have Aspergers) and works to make associations.

In a nutshell, the CAST is looking for a possible cause of Aspergers through studying its population for clues. This is crucial in the advancement of the public’s understanding of pervasive developmental disorders.

The CAST is a questionnaire that is completed independently by school-aged kids. There are 37 questions that touch upon social, physical, cognitive, coping, and communication skills.

• High-scoring tests are followed by CAST-2, which is completed by parents.
• The exam is typically administered to kids who are in a mainstream classroom and who do not have an autism spectrum disorder diagnosis.
• The scores are compared, and further evaluation could be necessary.

High-functioning kids usually develop many coping skills on their own. However, uncovering a possible pervasive developmental disorder, no matter how mild, is crucial to helping the youngster thrive in different environments.

Here's the CAST:

Child's name_______________________________

Age______ Sex: M / F
Birth Order: Twin or single birth______________
Parent / Guardian______________________________
Parent(s) occupation___________________________
Address______________________________________
_______________________________________
Phone#______________________________________
School_______________________________________


Please read the following questions carefully, and circle the appropriate answer.


1. Does child join in playing games with others easily?
Yes
No

2. Does child come up to you spontaneously for a chat?
Yes
No

3. Was child speaking by 2 years old?
Yes
No

4. Does child enjoy sports?
Yes
No

5. Is it important for him/her to fit in with a peer group?
Yes
No

6. Does child appear to notice unusual details that others miss?
Yes
No

7. Does child tend to take things literally?
Yes
No 

8. When child was 3 years old, did child spend a lot of time pretending (e.g., play-acting being a super-hero, or holding teddy's tea parties)?
Yes
No 

9. Does child like to do the same things over and over again, in the same way all the time?
Yes
No

10. Does child find it easy to interact with other children?
Yes
No

11. Can child keep a two-way conversation going?
Yes
No

12. Can child read appropriately for his/her age?
Yes
No

13. Does child mostly have the same interests as his/her peers?
Yes
No

14. Does child have an interest that which takes up so much time that he/she does little else?
Yes
No

15. Does child have friends, rather than just acquaintances?
Yes
No

16. Does child often bring things to show you that interest him/her?
Yes
No

17. Does child enjoy joking around?
Yes
No

18. Does child have difficulty understanding the rules for polite behavior?
Yes
No 

19. Does child have an unusual memory for details?
Yes
No

20. Is his/her voice unusual (e.g., overly adult, flat, or very monotonous)?
Yes
No

21. Are people important to him/her?
Yes
No

22. Can child dress him/herself?
Yes
No

23. Is child good at turn-taking in conversation?
Yes
No

24. Does child play imaginatively with other children, and engage in role-play?
Yes
No

25. Does child do or say things that are tactless or socially inappropriate?
Yes
No

26. Can child count to 50 without leaving out any numbers?
Yes
No

27. Does child make normal eye-contact?
Yes
No 

28. Does child have any unusual and repetitive movements?
Yes
No

29. Is his/her social behavior very one-sided and always on his or her terms?
Yes
No

30. Does your child sometimes say "you" when child means to say "I"?
Yes
No

31. Does child prefer imaginative activities such as play-acting or story-telling, rather than numbers or a list of facts?
Yes
No

32. Does child sometimes lose the listener because of not explaining what he/she is talking about?
Yes
No

33. Can child ride a bicycle (even if with stabilizers)?
Yes
No

34. Does child try to impose routines on himself/herself, or on others, in such a way that it causes problems?
Yes
No

35. Does child care about how he/she is perceived by the rest of the group?
Yes
No

36. Does child often turn conversations to his/her favorite subject rather than following what the other person wants to talk about?
Yes
No

37. Does child have odd or unusual phrases?
Yes
No

SPECIAL NEEDS SECTION-

• Have teachers ever expressed any concerns about his/her development?
Yes
No
If yes, please specify___________________________________

• Has child ever been diagnosed with the following?

-Language delay
Yes
No 

-Hyperactivity/Attention Deficit Disorder (ADHD)
Yes
No

-Hearing or visual difficulties
Yes
No

-Autism Spectrum Condition, including Asperger syndrome
Yes
No

-A physical disability
Yes
No

-Other (please specify)
Yes
No
If yes, please specify___________________________________



The Aspergers Comprehensive Handbook

5 comments:

Mary said...

Children normal behaviors depend on various natural and environmental circumstances in which a child grow and observes the way for his best possible conduct within his reach and interact amongst those who respond his gestures and body talks.
http://www.child-behaviorproblems.com/

Anonymous said...

Our 9 y/o grandson has recently been tested by both an Ed Psych specialist and the school specialist and he has classic signs of SPD...

He had severe meltdowns from the age of 18 months

Is somewhat “clingy” and whiny with his mom

Has trouble with communication and is very immature socially.

He is impulsive and does not think before he acts and subsequently has broken one arm twice and the other one once. He for eg, climbed onto the picnic table in the backyard, and was throwing a ball onto the roof, letting it roll back towards him without checking how much table was left, fell off and broke his arm.

He was put back a grade in school because he could not socially manage the classroom even though he is a brilliant boy and knew the work.

He does show some obsessive symptoms over some of his toys. His older sister finds that he tends to want to play with her and not give her time to herself. She was in tears with frustration with her brother who would not give her time to herself on the past weekend.

Our big concern is his lack of foresight and insight as he does not seem to understand how his behavior contributes to the actions or reactions of others. It is almost as if he is seeing the situations from a distance with him looking on. And we all find that his version of the event is vastly different to the actual facts. Every problem he considers is someone else’s fault and he does not take responsibility for anything he does.

Added to all of this is that his younger brother (now a 6 y/o) as well will be tested by the Autism Clinic in Calgary in the fall. The younger one taught himself to read and at this point in kindergarten reads fluently but he has a very monotone speech pattern. The younger one is the kind to wander off even though he is told to stay close. Both boys have problems with communication and the older one uses words that do not always make sense. WE have also been told that the older boy cannot see the “bigger picture” but will look at several small points but not put them together.

I have suggested to our daughter that she go back to the paediatrician to see what other resources are available to parent or counsel this grandson since none of those who tested him have given our daughter and son in law any further help in parenting this boy.

How do you help a child like this gain insight into his behavior? Our daughter and her husband feel like they are in a fog and are really concerned for their older son.

Jessica McCullough said...

I have been in denial that my son is "different". I would look as his maturity level and deny that he was not like other children his age...and called it "sweet". My child was just sweeter than others. But he also has difficult days about 90% of the time. I was in denial until I read what "Anonymous" said about their 9 y/o grandson. The description of the child is parallel to the description I could give my 8 y/o son. My mother and her boyfriend have been telling me for a couple of years now that my son has Aspergers Syndrome, and I have denied it because only his many therapist have said so, and not a diagnosis from a doctor. But Anonymous is calling this SPD...is this Aspergers?

Anonymous said...

SPD is sensory processing order, not ASD (Autism spectrum disorder). Aspergers is typically ASD, and like all the ASD, its on a scale. Your psychologist is qualified to make the diagnosis, and they will know more about this than a general doctor. Take your son for a formal assessment to clarify things, then get him the support and assistance he needs. Good luck!

Tisha23 said...

My 14y/o sister is extremely smart in school but socially does not fit in. I'm 23 and since I was in high school watching her grow up has been hard. She carried around a bag of toys up until this past year when she was 13. She doesn't engage in conversation very well and only has one other friend that acts just like her. My father and step mother have been told on several occasions that something is wrong and they need to help her. She is graduating high school this year and going to be attending a high school where she doesn't know anyone. I'm very concerned that kids will take advantage of her. I don't know what to do. She is not independent and very sheltered. At 14 she isn't allowed to stay home alone. She doesn't go out and play like other kids. She is more content watching tv playing video games or reading books on animals. When I am around her alone she acts more mature cause I try to incurage it. When she is around my step mother and my father she makes childish noises like she is 5 and doesn't carry a conversation like a 14 year old should. My whole family sees this issue and is very worried. What do I do? Is there anything I can do?

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.

Click here to read the full article…

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.

Click here for the full article...

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.

Click here to read the full article…

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.

Click here to read the full article…

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."

Click here to read the full article…

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.

Click here to read the full article…

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.

Click here to read the full article...

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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