Differentiating Bipolar Disorder, ADHD, and Asperger’s can be difficult because of the overlap of symptoms. In order to differentiate between the three disorders I developed the following symptom grid. The more Xs, the more prominent the symptom in that disorder. Of course many of these children will have a dual diagnoses. For example, it is likely that over 90% of children with a Bipolar Disorder will also have ADHD. In addition, there appears to be a subset of children with Asperger’s that also have Bipolar Disorder.
|CORE DEFICIT:Impairment in ability to inhibit and postpone a response to an event–to impose a delay between an event that we experience and our reaction to it||XXXX||X||X|
|CORE DEFICIT: Impairment in ability to initiate, sustain, and maintain social interactions||X||XXXX||X|
|CORE DEFICIT: Impairment in ability to regulate and modulate mood||X||X||XXXX|
|Executive functioning problems and learning differences||X||X||X|
|Irritable/depressed mood, mood lability, “walking on eggshells”||X||X||XXXX|
|Positive family history for learning disabilities, ADHD or mood disorder||XXXX||X||XXXX|
|Socialization and communication difficulties (not a language delay)||X||XXXX||X|
What play therapy strategies have play therapists found to be helpful with this population of children?