There are a variety of professionals who are qualified to evaluate children for Asperger’s Disorder. The most important thing about who you choose is not so much what their degree is, but rather that they have ample experience evaluating children for Asperger’s Disorder.
Professionals who evaluate for Asperger’s Disorder are:
• Developmental Pediatricians
• Pediatric Neurologists
• Clinical Psychologists
• Pediatric Neuropsychologists
• Educational Psychologists
While every professional will use the criteria listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders Fourth Edition-Text Revision (DSM-IV-TR), each will have his own tools and procedures and threshold for what level of symptoms he thinks meets criteria for the diagnosis.
When selecting which type of evaluator will asses your child, there will be pros and cons for each. Pediatricians tend to have limited time. However, your pediatrician likely knows your child quite well and has a long-standing history of observing her. Psychiatrists, neurologists, and developmental pediatricians will all likely perform a longer evaluation, but they can only offer medication treatment. Pediatric neuropsychologists and educational psychologists provide testing but typically do not offer treatment. Clinical psychologists, many of whom can provide testing if necessary, can evaluate and provide treatment.