521 – High Functioning Autism (HFA) in the Adolescent and Young Adult: Diagnostic Challenges


Media Format: Audio USB (MP3)

SKU: WC19-WK521A Category:


High Functioning Autism (HFA), sometimes called mild autism or, until 2013, Asperger?۪s
syndrome, is often diagnosed when individuals are teens or young adults. Recognizing the
symptoms of High Functioning Autism can be particularly challenging when treating adolescents
and young adults with a variety of emotional, mental and behavioral disorders. Some of
the behaviors resulting from autism are similar to behaviors caused by other disorders, and can

all too easily be explained away as being caused by other medical, psychiatric or cognitive
disorders. In addition, the adolescent brain is encountering a storm of its own which alone can
result in a variety of behavioral changes. In order to prevent making errors in diagnosis and
treatment it is important for therapists and other practitioners to distinguish the patterns of
impairments, both observed and demonstrated, from those with other disorders. Chronological
age, peculiarity, intensity, frequency and duration of behavioral and cognitive symptoms are
key areas of assessment. Disentangling this web of symptoms can be quite challenging for the
therapist. This workshop will discuss the diagnostic differentials, helpful evaluation tools and
case studies demonstrating diagnostic challenges.

Presented by: Marian Eberly, Ph.D.

Learning Objectives
Participants will:

  1. Define High Functioning Autism
  2. Identify common barriers complicating the diagnosis of HFA in teens and young adults
  3. Learn and identify various evaluation tools that can be helpful to practitioners