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The Strathprints institutional repository is a digital archive of University of Strathclyde's Open Access research outputs. Strathprints provides access to thousands of Open Access research papers by University of Strathclyde researchers, including by researchers from the Department of Computer & Information Sciences involved in mathematically structured programming, similarity and metric search, computer security, software systems, combinatronics and digital health.

The Department also includes the iSchool Research Group, which performs leading research into socio-technical phenomena and topics such as information retrieval and information seeking behaviour.

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Confusion and inconsistency in diagnosis of Asperger syndrome : a review of studies from 1981 to 2010

Sharma, Shilpi and Woolfson, Lisa and Hunter, Simon (2012) Confusion and inconsistency in diagnosis of Asperger syndrome : a review of studies from 1981 to 2010. Autism International Journal, 16 (5). pp. 465-486. ISSN 1461-7005

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Abstract

This paper presents a review of past and current research on the diagnosis of Asperger syndrome (AS) in children. It is suggested that the widely used criteria for diagnosing AS (in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM)-IV) are insufficient and invalid for a reliable diagnosis of AS. In addition, when these diagnostic criteria are applied, there is the potential bias of receiving a diagnosis towards the high-functioning end of the autism spectrum. Through a critical review of 69 research studies carried out between 1981 and 2010, this paper shows that six possible criteria for diagnosing AS (specifically, the age at which signs and symptoms related to autism become apparent, language and social communication abilities, intellectual abilities, motor or movement skills, repetitive patterns of behaviour and the nature of social interaction) overlap with the criteria for diagnosing autism. However, there is a possibility that some finer differences exist in the nature of social interaction, motor skills and speech patterns between groups with a diagnosis of AS and autism. These findings are proposed to be of relevance for designing intervention studies aimed at the treatment of specific symptoms in people with an autism spectrum disorder.