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Keywords:

  • Aspergers syndrome;
  • older adult;
  • diagnosis;
  • case report;
  • assessment tool

Abstract

Background

There are over 200 000 people in the UK diagnosed with Aspergers Syndrome (AS). Most of these are children and young adults, owing to the fact the disorder was established relatively recently. It can be argued, therefore, that there are many older adults who may have met the criteria for AS as children, but never received such a diagnosis due to the fact it had yet to be established. What happended to these people as they aged?

Method

This paper examines this issue in detail and presents five case studies of elderly individuals who the authors believe meet the criteria of AS.

Results

The work illustrates AS presentation in old age, the assessment problems and tools required to assess older people, and the implications of such formulations for clinical practice.

Conclusion

Older patients with undiagnosed AS may currently be receiving inappropriate treatments. Greater awareness of AS in the older population would enable better management of such patients. Copyright © 2006 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.