Informal Childhood Developmental Checklist

Our son has Asperger Syndrome. To get the diagnosis didn’t come easy and the path to that diagnosis was rocky to say the least. That was over 12 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

Samuel Allen/Aspergers101 Spokesperson

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.

You may download the Informal Childhood Developmental Checklist form below

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