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Sunday 26 Oct 2014

Asperger’s Disorder


Asperger’s Disorder (AD) is an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). There are two diagnostic criteria scales used to diagnose Asperger’s Disorder: (1) DSM-IV (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) and (2) Gillberg’s Criteria.

DSM-IV Criteria:

A. Qualitative impairment in social interaction, as manifested by at least two of the following:

  • marked impairment in the use of multiple nonverbal behaviors such as eye-to-eye gaze, facial expression, body postures, and gestures to regulate social interaction
  • failure to develop peer relationships appropriate to developmental level
  • a lack of spontaneous seeking to share enjoyment, interests, or achievements with other people (e.g., by a lack of showing, bringing, or pointing out objects of interest to other people)
  • lack of social or emotional reciprocity

B. Restricted repetitive and stereotyped patterns of behavior, interests, and activities, as manifested by at least one of the following:

  • encompassing preoccupation with one or more stereotyped and restricted patterns of interest that is abnormal either in intensity or focus
  • apparently inflexible adherence to specific, nonfunctional routines or rituals
  • stereotyped and repetitive motor mannerisms (e.g., hand or finger flapping or twisting, or complex whole-body movements)
  • persistent preoccupation with parts of objects

C. The disturbance causes clinically significant impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning.

D. There is no clinically significant general delay in language (e.g., single words used by age 2 years, communicative phrases used by age 3 years).

E. There is no clinically significant delay in cognitive development or in the development of age-appropriate self-help skills, adaptive behavior (other than in social interaction), and curiosity about the environment in childhood.

F. Criteria are not met for another specific Pervasive Developmental Disorder or Schizophrenia.

Gillberg’s Criteria:

A. Severe impairment in reciprocal social interaction (at least two of the following):

  • inability to interact with peers
  • lack of desire to interact with peers
  • lack of appreciation of social cues
  • socially and emotionally inappropriate behavior

B. All-absorbing narrow interest (at least one of the following):

  • exclusion of other activities
  • repetitive adherence
  • more rote than meaning

C. Imposition of routines and interests (at least one of the following):

  • on self, in aspects of life
  • on others

D. Speech and language problems (at least three of the following):

  • delayed development
  • superficially perfect expressive language
  • formal, pedantic language
  • odd prosody, peculiar voice characteristics
  • impairment of comprehension including misinterpretations of literal/implied meanings

E. Non-verbal communication problems (at least one of the following):

  • limited use of gestures
  • clumsy/gauche body language
  • limited facial expression
  • inappropriate expression
  • peculiar, stiff gaze

F. Motor clumsiness: poor performance on neurodevelopmental examination

(All six criteria must be met for confirmation of diagnosis)