A diagnosis describes a group of symptoms and provides a concise vocabulary for educators, parents, physicians, and mental health professionals to use. Of course, a diagnosis does not tell all there is to know about a child, yet knowing your child has formally been diagnosed with Asperger’s Disorder provides a tremendous amount of information and helps explain his behavior.
Once you learn about Asperger’s Disorder, you can respond to your child in helpful ways. You can also become aware of problems caused by Asperger’s Disorder that you might otherwise fail to recognize, dismiss as just a phase, or misinterpret as willful disobedience or social rudeness. The earlier a diagnosis is made the sooner you can take advantage of early intervention programs that are specifically designed for Asperger’s Disorder.
A formal diagnosis is not always necessary. If symptoms can be identified and interventions planned, a diagnosis may not have to be made. However, there are situations when a diagnosis is required. When seeking reimbursement from insurance, a diagnosis is always required. Special education services require the presence of a disorder that impairs learning. Some children have symptoms of Asperger’s Disorder that are not severe enough to be diagnosed as Asperger’s Disorder, yet they can nonetheless benefit from an evaluation and treatment.