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.
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.
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