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Aspergers Evaluations

Aspergers Disorder has gained increased notice over the past few years.  School systems are now asking for training and support in educating children with Aspergers.  With the increased attention has come an increase in awareness and services for Aspergers.  Like all things that become popular - not all information or services are created equal.  

Reinforcement Unlimited is a leader in providing evaluations of children and adolescents suspected of having Aspergers Disorder.  We use a variety of psychological tests, interviews, direct observation, records, and key informant interviews to gain an understanding of the child.  We then not not simply give them a diagnosis (or label) but rather provide concrete recommendations targeted at helping the child at home, school, and throughout their day.

The first question is "What is Aspergers?"  The answer to that question is more complicated than most people would like it to be.  There is some controversy about exactly what constitutes Asperger's Syndrome (or Asperger's Disorder per the DSM-IV).  When the criteria for AS were put into the DSM-IV the professionals who treat traditional Autism saw AS people as having no language problems.  The problem with that is that the professionals that work with AS people every day generally disagree and know that there are commonly issues with pragmatics and social language evident.  That is merely one area of contention in the field - and that doesn't even bring in what the people with AS themselves have to say on the topic.  So, be careful of anyone who says things as if they have the only right answer when it comes to issues around Asperger's.  For more information on Aspergers we have put together some resources that may be useful.

Research to date is clear - the diagnosis of Aspergers is much more complicated than merely looking at whether the child has friends or whether they are odd in their interpersonal style.  While it is now common for some to casually label a child as Aspergers based on those limited perspectives - it is not in the child's best interests.  For example, it is often said that children and adolescents with Aspergers are more visually oriented and learn best with visual information.  Like all truisms there is some truth to this, however, not all children with Aspergers learn best that way.  This is why a comprehensive evaluation by someone who knows what Aspergers is, what the variations are, and what may also look to the naive person like Aspergers is essential to developing the best treatment plan for the child.  We strive every day to meet those standards at Reinforcement Unlimited.

When a child or adolescent is referred to us for a comprehensive evaluation and the question is whether they have Aspergers, we use a process approach to testing.  This means that we do not have an 'off-the-rack' approach with one pre-determined evaluation package.  Off-the-rack suits fit and are a bargain if you happen to be in the 5% who are a perfect Size X.  If you are not a perfect size X then the off-the-rack suit just plain does not fit.  We tailor our evaluations to fit each child who comes into our clinic.  We believe it is the only way to maximize the quality of the evaluation and recommendations to help your child.  That is why our evaluations take between two and four visits to the clinic and we can't tell you how many ahead of time.  It is also why we have a flat fee for evaluations that are paid for at the time of service.  We want to focus on answering the questions that need answering about your child.

We appreciate your visiting our website.  We understand that the process of seeking an evaluation for your child can be overwhelming and frightening at the same time.  We have been there with our own children and hope that this helps us in being better equipped to work with you.  If you have any questions at all about us, our practice, whether we are the right fit for you and your family we encourage you to call and talk to our staff and ourselves.  We aren't always the right fit, and if we are not we will do our best to provide you with resources that best meet your needs.  

Call us at 770-591-9552 to discuss your child's needs.

A handout on what information we need in order to provide you the best evaluation possible is available to guide you in preparing for the initial evaluation appointment.

 

 

 

 

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