This appendix contains a description of the characteristics displayed by children and teens with Asperger's syndrome, a form of autism. Once again, because our approach is practical, we provide descriptions of the characteristics, rather than merely listing them. By describing what a particular characteristic will look like when displayed, you will have a clearer picture of which characteristics are most problematic for your child. Before you begin to work on problems, you must know what those problems are and how they are manifested.
The characteristic list is presented in a checklist format. We encourage you to copy this checklist and share it with all those involved with your child. It will be useful in determining initial diagnosis. Later, it will help those working with your child to better understand how particular attributes are translated into behaviors. The result will be a clearer understanding of the reasons behind the behaviors displayed by your child. It is important to remember that the more you understand about Asperger behaviors and the reasons behind them, the more effective you will be when you begin to intervene and change behaviors.
When completing this checklist, check off all characteristics that apply to your child. Use the examples given as illustrations. Some characteristics overlap with others, so don't worry. Moreover, a characteristic should still be checked, even if it doesn't occur all of the time. Your child may display the same behavior, or he may exhibit his own particular variation. He may be an individual with Asperger's syndrome, but he remains an individual.
Characteristics Checklist: Social Interactions
Characteristics Checklist: Language Skills
Characteristics Checklist: Interests/Routines/Order
Characteristics Checklist: Motor Skills
Characteristics Checklist: Cognitive Issues
Characteristics Checklist: Sensory Sensitivities