Signs of Asperger Syndrome

Learn about: Signs of Asperger Syndrome from Allison Kawa, PsyD,...
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Signs of Asperger Syndrome

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When we talk about Asperger's Disorder, the kinds of symptoms that we think about are going to be impairments in social function. That is going to be a lack of function in social reciprocity, not really having that give and take that you typically see, and behaviors that are either excessive or overly intense or unusually. Generally speaking, what we think about when somebody has Asperger's Disorder is "the little professor." So somebody will have sort of pedantic speech. Someone who talks like they are an expert on a subject. They seem to have very, very intense interests. They might be extremely interested in something like robotics or astronomy or volcanoes; something along those lines. They also tend to be a bit clumsy. Gross motor can be associated with the diagnosis as well.

Learn about: Signs of Asperger Syndrome from Allison Kawa, PsyD,...

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Allison Kawa, PsyD

Child Psychologist

Alison Kawa is a licensed child psychologist specializing in the evaluation of children and adolescents.  Her pre- and post-doctoral training emphasized child and adolescent testing.  She was a fellow in the UCLA Autism Evaluation Clinic where she acquired extensive training in the diagnosis of autism spectrum disorders and a range of other developmental disorders.  During this time, she also obtained certification from the University of Michigan Autism and Communication Disorders Center (UMACC) on the gold standard instruments (i.e., ADI-R and ADOS) used in autism evaluations.  Following her fellowship, she became Senior Assessor at UCLA where she worked for four years.

Alison completed the PsychoEducational Diagnostic Services Program (PEDS) Post-Doctoral Fellowship in Pediatric Assessment at the Reiss Davis Child Study Center at Vista Del Mar.  In this setting, she conducted comprehensive psychoeducational evaluations for children and adolescents with a diverse range of issues including ADHD, Learning Disabilities, mood disorders, and anxiety disorders.  She also completed the Child Therapy in a School Setting program offered by Phillips Graduate Institute, where she gained training and experience in play therapy, social skills groups, and therapeutic interventions appropriate for adolescents. 

While completing her graduate training in psychology, she held a staff position at Working With Autism, Inc., where she worked individually with children with autism, provided case management and supervision, and developed and implemented a staff-training curriculum.  It was through this position that she acquired a love for teaching and training. In addition to her private practice, she teaches pre- and post-doctoral fellows at the Reiss Davis Child Study Center at Vista Del Mar, where she also works as a supervisor and consultant.

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