Our son has Aspergers Syndrome. To get the diagnosis didn’t come easy and the path to that diagnosis was rocky to say the least. That was over 10 years ago and still, the following checklist we received from our school district is the best heads-up to having Aspergers Syndrome that I’ve seen to date. It cuts to the chase. Though only meant as a ‘checklist’ remember this is not an official document and only mean’t to flag a strong suspicion of Aspergers Syndrome. A doctor or trained therapist would need to make that call, however; if you are looking for a guideline of sorts….it doesn’t get much better or black and white than the form below. It was spot on for us describing our son Sam. We’ve also put it in a downloadable format at the bottom. May it lead you towards illumination!

-Jennifer Allen/Aspergers101


Informal Childhood Developmental Checklist

Social Interactions

Yes      No

____    ____           The child prefers to play alone.

____    ____           The child is rarely invited by others to play in the neighborhood or to participate in activities outside of school.

____    ____           The child’s social interactions and responses are immature, not keeping with his/her age or his/her cognitive abilities in other areas.

____   ____            The child has difficulty interacting in group settings

____   ____            The child does not play with other children as expected: he/she may not appear interested in their games, or may not know how to join in.

____   ____          The child appears to be vulnerable to teasing, bullying and being taken advantage of by others.


Behavioral Observations

Yes       No

___      ___            The child has difficulty understanding the effect his/her behavior has on others.

___     ____            The child has a significant amount of difficulty taking the perspective of another person, even when it is explained to them.

____   ____            The student has overwhelmingly limited interests in things such as video games, superheroes, cartoon characters.

____    ____         The child’s choices of toys or activities are limited to a select few, without being open to trying new things.

____   ____            The child’s play appears to be scripted or like a reenactment (such as repetitively recreating movies or favorite stores with word and action).

____   ____            The child displays limited understanding of, or involvement in, role-play and spontaneous make-believe play.

____   ____           The student’s play is marked by imitation rather than cooperative interaction, for example parallel play.

____   ____          The child has great difficulty with unexpected changes, even when prepared for the change ahead of time.



Yes         No

____     ____             The child demonstrates severe delays in communication skills or is nonverbal.

_____   _____         The child lacks natural turn-taking skills when conversing with peers.

_____   _____         The child has difficulty following change of topics of conversation in response to the lead of a conversational partner.

_____   _____        The child has difficulty maintaining conversations with others, when the topic is something other than that of their interest.

_____   _____        The child has difficulty using and/or understanding non-verbal cues, such as facial expressions, body language or gestures.

_____   _____         The child tends to interact with adults rather than peers.

_____    _____        The child tends to make the same social mistakes repeatedly, although their skills improve in other developmental areas.


Sensory and Motor Issues

Yes           No

____        _____        The child has fine motor difficulties

____        _____        The child has gross motor difficulties

____        _____        The child exhibits over sensitivity to environmental stimuli, such as sound, temperature, pain, reflection or textures.

____        _____       The child exhibits “under-sensitivity” t environmental stimuli such as sound, temperature or pain.

_____     ______      The student appears awkward and uncoordinated in a way different from same-age peers.

_____     ______     The child displays excessively repetitive bodily movements such as rocking, flapping, spinning or self-aggression.



Informal Childhood Developmental Checklist


Complied by Aspergers101.com originally received by N.E.I.S.D. Department of Special Education 2003



















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  1. is an inability to understand arithmetic in young children a symptom (1st, 2nd grade) in conjunction with many of the above symptoms.

  2. is an inability to understand arithmetic in young children a symptom (1st, 2nd grade) in conjunction with many of the above symptoms.

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  6. Yes– adolescence is a time of transition and uncertainty in the best of families, with no clear expectations for either the kid or the adults around them on how the teens are supposed to behave. In some ways I think the ancient traditions of the teen going off on the vision quest or other ritual made for a clearer and smoother transition to adulthood than the long, drawn-out, vague period we have for adolescence. Bless you for continuing to write authentic stories for teens!

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