by Brenda Smith Myles, Stacey Jones Bock, Richard L Simpson
Purpose: Helps determine whether a child has Asperger Syndrome
Age: 5 through to 18yrs
Time: 10 to 15 minutes
Qualification Level: A (Psychologist)The Asperger Syndrome Diagnostic Scale (ASDS) is a quick, easy-to-use rating scale that can help you determine whether a child has Asperger Syndrome. Anyone who knows the child or youth well can complete this scale. Parents, teachers, siblings, paraeducators, speech and language therapists, psychologists, psychiatrists, and other professionals can answer the 50 yes/no items in 10 to 15 minutes.
Designed to identify Asperger Syndrome in children ages 5 through 18, this instrument provides an AS Quotient that reveals the likelihood that an individual has Asperger Syndrome. The 50 items that constitute the ASDS were drawn from five specific areas of behaviour: cognitive, maladaptive, language, social, and sensorimotor.
Diagnosis of Asperger Syndrome is difficult because the characteristics of the disorder often resemble those of autism, behaviour disorders, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, and learning disabilities. The ASDS serves an important function by quickly allowing you to determine whether a child or adolescent is likely to have Asperger Syndrome.
The first test of its kind, the ASDS was normed on 115 persons with Asperger Syndrome from across the United States. The sample ranged in age from 5 to 18. The ASDS meets reliability and validity criteria established by the professional assessment community. Therefore, by comparing an individual¹s score with the normative sample, an examiner can establish the probability that the individual has Asperger Syndrome. Low AS Quotients are indicative of persons with little or no known pathology, whereas higher scores are increasingly more indicative of Asperger Syndrome.
All items included in the ASDS represent behaviours that are symptomatic of Asperger Syndrome, and all are summed to produce the total score. The scores from the five subtests present the examiner with information of clinical interest regarding an individual's performance in comparison to that of others with Asperger Syndrome. The total score has strong diagnostic value in identifying individuals with Asperger Syndrome and is the only score to be used when determining the likelihood of Asperger Syndrome. This contributes greatly to ease of administration and cuts down on otherwise time-consuming testing procedures.
The ASDS can be used with confidence to (a) identify persons who have Asperger Syndrome, (b) document behavioural progress as a consequence of special intervention programmes, (c) target goals for change and intervention on the student's Individual Education Program (IEP), and (d) measure Asperger Syndrome for research purposes. Because the ASDS is based on observations, the test results are valid only when the rater knows the examinee well; that is, the examiner has had regular, sustained contact with the examinee for at least 2 weeks.
Raw scores are converted to percentile and standard scores. These scores are the most important information associated with an individual's ASDS performance, and analysis of them, augmented by additional test information, direct information of behaviour, and knowledge acquired from other sources, will result in proper diagnosis of Asperger Syndrome.