There can often be difficulties in recognising and correctly diagnosing Asperger’s Syndrome from a number of related conditions generally classified under autism.
Children with Asperger’s Syndrome can often be misdiagnosed and, as a life-long impairment, it is extremely important that the condition can be distinguished as early as possible from any number of other behaviours, such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), bipolar disorder or even obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD).
A misdiagnosis in early childhood could mean not receiving vital educational and emotional support needed for developing social and interpersonal skills, and going on to live a normal adult life. It could also mean that a failure to prescribe the correct medication or treatments could lead to a further deterioration in behaviour.
When the condition is diagnosed later in childhood or as an adult, the degree to which victims have to compensate for impaired social interaction and communication may be more or less noticeable.
Has your child suffered as a direct consequence of an Asperger’s misdiagnosis?
Your first step... is to discuss the specific circumstances of your child and the subsequent impact upon their quality of life, to see if you have a genuine case of negligence. Seeking answers when bringing a claim for clinical negligence requires specialist knowledge of both legal and medical issues together with a sympathetic and sensitive understanding of how everyone involved is affected.
Our dedicated clinical negligence team at Your Legal Friend has 30 years experience in successfully resolving many different types, and sometimes, complex negligence cases.
We can help you make your case heard, and obtain compensation for the injury or harm you and a loved one have suffered because of an Asperger’s Syndrome misdiagnosis.
Did you know...
What is Asperger’s Syndrome?
Asperger’s Syndrome is a form of autism, which is a lifelong disability restricting communication, both verbal and nonverbal, and thought to result from a combination of both genetic and environmental factors.
Asperger’s can very often be referred to as autism spectrum disorder (ASD), which also includes Asperger’s syndrome and childhood autism.
This means people are affected in many different ways and to varying degrees along a ‘spectrum’ of disorder conditions. Sufferers who share similar tendencies are affected differently , some more mildly while others may remain undiagnosed.
Asperger’s affects how a person makes sense of the world, processes information and relate to other people.
Typical ‘signals’ that sufferers find difficulty in reading include:
People who suffer with Asperger’s find it hard to read ‘signals’ from others that many people instinctively understand or would have learnt during childhood development.
The key difficulties are :
- Facial expressions
- Tone of voice
Other examples of Asperger's syndrome include:
Further difficulties - the ‘social’ imagination:
While Asperger’s sufferers can often be highly creative and imaginative, their imagination may be restricted in other ways, including:
Diagnosing Asperger’s Syndrome
Although considered part of the ‘autistic spectrum’, similarities with autism may lead to difficulties in diagnosing Asperger’s syndrome itself.
Key differences between Autism and Asperger’s Syndrome are:
A doctor’s approach to diagnosis should involve a detailed developmental history of the patient, to determine where a condition is along the autistic spectrum. There are a number of conditions that can occur together with autistic spectrum disorders (ASD).
Early signs in Children
The main features of an autistic spectrum disorder (ASD), typically start to develop in childhood, and can be recognised before children reach the age of two or three years old. In many cases, however, the signs will often only become more noticeable as they get older or until there is a significant change in their life, such as a change of school.
Some of the main signs that a child may have an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) include:
- hand tapping and twisting or similar repetitive physical movements
- biting, pinching, kicking
- putting inedible items in the mouth
- self-harming behaviour
Children, young people and adults with ASD are often also affected by other mental health conditions, such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), anxiety or depression. Children with more severe symptoms and learning difficulties are likely to need additional care and assistance to live independently as adults
Adults living with ASD may have displayed features of the condition as a child but were never diagnosed. As a result, they may have experienced difficulty in finding employment because of the social demands and changes in routine that the world of work often involves.
Determining if Asperger’s Syndrome was missed or misdiagnosed by your GP and the subsequent impact upon your child’s development and quality of life can be a significant challenge because of the complexity of ASD.
There can often be an enormous emotional hurdle to overcome before even taking the decision to seek legal advice. You need to know that your clinical negligence specialists possess the in-depth knowledge and experience of both the often complex legal and medical issues.
From the first time we discuss your particular circumstances and throughout an often long and demanding process, Your Legal Friend is committed to ensuring we protect the interests of you and your child, while diligently guiding you every step of the way.