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Mon Dec 3, 2012, 09:31 AM

Asperger's Syndrome to be dropped as a diagnosis in DSM-5

http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2012/dec/02/aspergers-syndrome-dropped-psychiatric-dsm

Asperger's syndrome is to be dropped from the psychiatrists' Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) of Mental Disorders, the American publication that is one of the most influential references for the profession around the world.

The term "Asperger's disorder" will not appear in the DSM-5, the latest revision of the manual, and instead its symptoms will come under the newly added "autism spectrum disorder", which is already used widely. That umbrella diagnosis will include children with severe autism, who often do not talk or interact, as well as those with milder forms.

...

Full details of all the revisions will come in May 2013 when the American Psychiatric Association's new diagnostic manual is published. The changes will affect the diagnosis and treatment of millions of children and adults worldwide, as well as medical insurance and special education services.

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Response to TrogL (Original post)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 01:34 PM

1. Maybe eliminating the separate Asperger's diagnosis

and just lumping everyone together on the Autism Spectrum Disorder thing will actually help, but I'm not convinced.

Asperger's is so very different from severe autism that it truly deserves its own separate category.

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Response to SheilaT (Reply #1)

Sun Dec 16, 2012, 03:11 PM

3. It may not be so bad to look at it as a spectrum. This has also been

the case with depression and bipolar, if not in the DSMV then at least in the books and on websites where I have tried to research my own illness. In that case the spectrum tidea did make sense.

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Response to GreenPartyVoter (Reply #3)

Sun Dec 16, 2012, 06:35 PM

4. While it is certainly clear to me

that many illnesses or conditions occur along a spectrum, Asperger's is so incredibly different from severe autism, that it's as if they aren't even the same condition.

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Response to SheilaT (Reply #4)

Sun Dec 16, 2012, 07:59 PM

5. I do agree with that understanding of it. I guess the question is, will

adding it to the spectrum change the way it is treated. If not, then I guess I don't see the problem. My son is PDD, I am not even sure where they list that in the DSMV.

Going back to the spectrum I am more familiar with one wouldn't say that bipolar mania and unipolar depression are anything alike, and yet they are somehow related enough to be plotted out on that spectrum.

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Response to GreenPartyVoter (Reply #5)

Sun Dec 16, 2012, 09:18 PM

6. Are bipolar mania and unipolar depression

two separate diagnoses? I believe so. Asperger's will no longer be a separate diagnosis. This might matter for purposes of treatment or accomodations in school.

I do believe that PDD is -- or at least was -- a separate diagnosis.

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Response to SheilaT (Reply #6)

Sun Dec 16, 2012, 09:51 PM

7. Yes, separate diagnoses, but understood to be part of a spectrum of disorder. I guess my feeling is

that if they throw Asperger's and PDD under autism, they should keep their own names and diagnostic criteria under that umbrella. (If that makes any sense?) Acknowledge the relationship but maintain that there are differences.

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Response to GreenPartyVoter (Reply #7)

Sun Dec 16, 2012, 11:15 PM

8. The new DSM does away with Asperger's as a separate diagnosis.

I don't know about PDD.

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Response to SheilaT (Reply #1)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 11:11 AM

9. I don't agree. It seems arbitrary.

It is a spectrum in which different people are affected in different ways. Diagnosicaly, there is no definitive way to determine whether a person has aspergers or high functioning autism... because they are the same thing.

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Response to SheilaT (Reply #1)

Tue Jan 1, 2013, 01:46 AM

10. I have a child diagnosed with A/S at 4 or 5 (too old too remember exactly)

 

but he's 22 now. I think it's fine to talk about an autism spectrum, because that's what it is. There are the same limitless facets as there are with human personalities.

Love to you all and HAPPY NEW YEAR! 2013 will be the best year yet!

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Response to AAO (Reply #10)

Thu Mar 13, 2014, 03:10 AM

11. The spectrum thing is crucial.

Many years ago, sometime in the early 1990's, Time magazine did an article on autism. There was a sentence in it that just leaped out at my husband and me. This is a bit of a paraphrase, but it captures the sentiment: To autistic children other people are simply blobs of protoplasm that come and go without rhyme or reason.

We looked at each other in astonishment. That captured our son almost perfectly. It's important to know that he functioned reasonably well, that he navigated the school system okay. We knew he was smart. We also knew he was different. This article gave us a sense of what he actually was.

When it was clear that staying in our (very good) public school system was not a good idea -- long story short he was being bullied in elementary school, I was given a heads-up from another mom that it would be many magnitudes worse in the 7-8 middle school (and you may not want to hear why I think that sort of separation is as bad as it can possibly be) we decided it was time to move our son to a private school. Fortunately, we had the financial resources thanks to very generous grandparents. Afterwards I said more than once that I would have gladly cleaned houses to afford the private school.

Here's what happened: My son was very smart. In the public school athletic performance was all, and his academic credentials hardly mattered. In the private school his smarts were admired and rewarded. Athletics had their place, but they were held in control, as only a part of everything, not the number one and sometimes only performance that mattered. Here's a brag: He went to National Science Bowl in both his junior and senior years, and it was quite obvious that his performance at the local competition (by far the largest in the country, I might add) almost single-handedly took his team to Nationals.

Here's another thing: This son had lost all of his hair to alopecia areata, an auto immune disorder, when he was four years old. As a consequence, for many years, we honestly thought that many of his social problem stemmed from his different appearance, not his actual behavioral and psychological differences.

So he went through school, looking and behaving very differently from his peers. In the public school he was shunned and friendless. In the private school, because academics were valued, he had friends, even though he was still a bit different.

I want to get back to the spectrum, the fact that there is a very long line, and anyone on the autistic spectrum fits somewhere on that line. It's not an either/or. One thing that was very interesting was that after I figured out my son was autistic, had Asperger's, and I'd describe it to people, I'd often get a response along the lines of, "Oh, that's just like my Uncle Jethro . He was always different." And then they'd go on and tell me more about Uncle Jethro and it was clear he was somewhere on the autism spectrum.

Another thing. I personally am glad my son was not diagnosed until he was 18 years old and half way through his senior year of high school. It helped keeping him from being his diagnosis, his disease. Those whose children were diagnosed much earlier may well disagree, and I'm not about to say they are wrong.

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