Steps in diagnosing Asperger’s autism

Les étapes du diagnostic Autiste Asperger

Welcome to Suivez le Zèbre, the first blog dedicated to neurodiversityin France. Here you will find information about Giftedness (High Learning Potential), hypersensitivity, autism spectrum disorders (including Asperger’s syndrome), DYS disorders and ADHD.

We talk about Asperger’s autism, but the medical profession hasn’t used the term Asperger’s since 2013, only it remains a reference for the general public.

You would like to be diagnosed with autism or Asperger syndrome Let’s take a look at the various stages in the assessment process leading up to diagnosis.

Diagnosis of Asperger’s autism: a series of interviews

Every means of obtaining a diagnosisbegins with an interview with a psychology professional with whom you can take an anamnesis: an account of the history that led you to seek a diagnosis of Asperger syndrome. On the basis of this first appointment, the psychologist or neuropsychologist will decide whether to call in other professionals to carry out the diagnosis.

Diagnosis of Asperger’s autism: assessments

There are several identifiable categories of balance sheet :

  • A stereotyped behavior assessment: to determine whether the person has restricted interests and behavioral disorders.
  • A neuropsychological assessment: to establish the link between behavior and brain function.
  • A communication assessment: to determine language and general communication skills.
  • A review of social interactions: assessing social development.
  • A psychometric assessment: to evaluate intellectual skills.
To remember

These tests are divided into 3 steps necessary to identify autism and differentiate it from other atypical behaviors:

A nosological diagnosis that takes into account the behaviors of autism and also allows us to gauge its intensity.
A functional skills assessment to detect any developmental delays.
identification of associated pathologies to differentiate the profile from other forms of neurodiversity and check for comorbidity with certain pathologies.

Diagnosis of Asperger’s autism: obtaining my assessment

At the end of the tests, the team who took care of you will hold a summary meeting, and the professional who coordinates them will be able to make an assessment. Then there’s a final appointment so that the professional can give you an oral explanation of the results before handing back the assessment.
Afterwards, you’ll also receive by e-mail or post the reports of the various assessments and a report of the meeting.
You may also be asked to undergo other tests if there are any suspected comorbidities such as attention or emotional disorders.

Diagnosis of Asperger’s autism: obtaining an assessment

I have an assessment that confirms that I have Asperger’s autism, now what?

Now all you have to do is forward your test to a doctor for approval. The psychologist who carried out the test cannot validate the assessment himself to make the diagnosis official.
Fortunately, there are several medical establishments that can approve a assessment:

  • The Autism Resource Centers provide comprehensive support from the beginning to the end of the diagnosis.
  • ASD screening centers in hospitals.
  • Private practitioners.
  • Some psychiatrists are trained to approve a diagnostic.

As soon as your assessment is approved, you have your Asperger’s diagnosis!
You can forward it to the Departmental Home for Disabled Persons (MDPH) in your department, so that you can apply for disabled people rights and obtain support.
For adults in France, a diagnosis of Asperger’s ASD entitles them to an RQTH (Recognition of the status of disabled worker) and various allowances, notably for education or benefit compensation.
For Asperger’s children, it will be possible to apply for financial aid to pay for education or adapted leisure activities.

My assessment is negative, I’m not recognized as autistic, and so…

In the event of a negative assessment, the psychologist may have concluded that the diagnosis is something other than Asperger’s autism. This is why averbal explanation is necessary before submitting the report, to ensure that the doctor’s conclusions are fully understood.
If in doubt after the explanations, it is possible to show the assessment to another psychologist to ensure the reliability of the result. Most of the time, errors come from obsolete diagnoses that are no longer approved by the French National Authority for Health.
If you’re not satisfied, you can repeat the diagnostic request, explaining why it’s not suitable. Otherwise, you’ll have to go back to another professional for a new diagnosis.

To conclude on the diagnosis of Asperger’s autism

There is no fixed list of the tests you can take nor the professionals you can see, it all depends on which professionals are available in the area, but also on the different Asperger’s profiles: each case is unique, and not all profiles need to be tested by a speech therapist, for example.
The Asperger’s diagnosis is still not 100% fixed, as it may change with the growing understanding of ASD , but it must also be adaptable to individual cases.

To make sure you’re on the Asperger’s spectrum before taking our assessment, you can take our test:

Discover our other articles on Autism :

You can also find more information, resources and tools on Giftedness in Mel POINASbook. With a lot of humor, Mel tells the story of the discovery of her giftedness and the routines she put in place to finally find her place!

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