no more asperger’s

11 Feb

I’m cured.

Just kidding.  A panel from the American Psychiatric Association decided that Asperger’s Syndrome will no longer be a separate classification from autism.  All autistic disorders will be included in the broad classification of Autism Spectrum Disorder.  Of course, this is causing some controversy.  You can listen to NPR’s report here.

The proposed diagnostic criteria for Autism Spectrum Disorder in the new DSM-5 are as follows:

Must meet criteria 1, 2, and 3:

1.  Clinically significant, persistent deficits in social communication and interactions, as manifest by all of the following:

a.  Marked deficits in nonverbal and verbal communication used for social interaction:

b.  Lack of social reciprocity;

c.  Failure to develop and maintain peer relationships appropriate to developmental level

2.  Restricted, repetitive patterns of behavior, interests, and activities, as manifested by at least TWO of the following:

a.  Stereotyped motor or verbal behaviors, or unusual sensory behaviors

b.  Excessive adherence to routines and ritualized patterns of behavior

c.  Restricted, fixated interests

3.  Symptoms must be present in early childhood (but may not become fully manifest until social demands exceed limited capacities)

Some people have issues with this conglomeration because of the huge differences in behavior between someone with very mild autism, like me, and someone at the other end of the spectrum who can’t care for themselves.  Some  aspies don’t want to be called “autistic.”  The problem is that these definitions have always been hazy.  We’re not sure how to define autism.  Most likely, it’s a grouping of several neurological disorders that have some similar symptoms, but we won’t know until we’ve got better diagnostic tools.

The fact is, the reclassification will help some people get services that they didn’t previously qualify for.  It doesn’t take away the “aspie culture” that has been established; it wasn’t meant to force people to change how they identify themselves.  I, for one, will still call myself an aspie.

Must meet criteria 1, 2, and 3:

1.  Clinically significant, persistent deficits in social communication and interactions, as manifest by all of the following:

a.  Marked deficits in nonverbal and verbal communication used for social interaction:

b.  Lack of social reciprocity;

c.  Failure to develop and maintain peer relationships appropriate to developmental level

2.  Restricted, repetitive patterns of behavior, interests, and activities, as manifested by at least TWO of the following:

a.  Stereotyped motor or verbal behaviors, or unusual sensory behaviors

b.  Excessive adherence to routines and ritualized patterns of behavior

c.  Restricted, fixated interests

3.  Symptoms must be present in early childhood (but may not become fully manifest until social demands exceed limited capacities)

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One Response to “no more asperger’s”

  1. Lee February 12, 2011 at 12:12 #

    Unfortunately re-classifying Asperger’s might take away resources from people who previous had them. Who would you choose to help; someone with severe autism, or someone with only mild autism?

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