Diagnosis of Asperger’s Syndrome is on the increase although it is unclear whether it is more prevalent or whether more professionals are detecting it. The symptoms for Asperger’s syndrome are the same as those listed for autism in the DSM-IV. See a check list here.
However, children with AS do not have delays in the area of communication and language. In fact, to be diagnosed with Asperger’s, a child must have had normal language development as well as normal intelligence. The DSM-IV criteria for AS specifies that the individual must have “severe and sustained impairment in social interaction, and the development of restricted, repetitive patterns of behavior, interests and activities,” that must “cause clinically significant impairment in social occupational or other important areas of functioning.”
The first step to diagnosis is an assessment, including a developmental history and observation. This should be done by medical professionals experienced with Autism and other PDDs (pervasive developmental disorders). If Asperger’s syndrome or high functioning autism is suspected, the diagnosis of autism will generally be ruled out first. Early diagnosis is also important; children with Asperger’s syndrome who are diagnosed and treated early in life have an increased chance of being successful in school and eventually living independently.
Source: Autism Society