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Difficulties in diagnosis of Asperger’s syndrome – a retrospective chart review

Magdalena Grygo1, Gabriela Jagielska2, Anna Resler-Maj3, Anita Bryńska2, Monika Gajdzik3

Affiliacja i adres do korespondencji
PSYCHIATR. PSYCHOL. KLIN. 2013, 13 (2), p. 92–98

Asperger’s syndrome is a neurodevelopmental disorder from the group of autistic spectrum disorders. Objective: The authors describe the group of children diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome, treated in the Department of Child Psychiatry or in the Child Psychiatry Outpatient Clinic. The aim of the study was to evaluate the patients’ age when they were diagnosed and the reason for seeking the clinician’s help by parents. Method: A retrospective chart review of children (n = 35) diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome. Age and reason for the first contact with the specialist, number of health facilities where the patient was treated before diagnosis, age at which the diagnosis was made, the period between the patient’s first contact with the specialist and diagnosis, and the first diagnoses in hospitalized children were analysed. Results: The median age of diagnosis was 11.75 ± 3.29 years, 5 ± 3.44 years after the children’s first contact with the specialist (psychiatrist or psychologist). Before the diagnosis, the patients were treated in different health facilities and often diagnosed with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder or disruptive behaviour. Conclusions: The results may indicate the major diagnostic difficulties which clinicians are facing or may be the result of insufficient knowledge among various groups of specialists on the Asperger’s syndrome. The results were compared to the results of the research conducted in the USA and Great Britain.

Słowa kluczowe
Asperger’s syndrome, pervasive developmental disorder, autism spectrum disorders, diagnosis, symptoms