Sunday, January 22, 2012

autism / Asperger's back to sanity in DSM-V

I was surprised to hear about proposed changes in the upcoming DSM-V [1] [2] [3] around autism and aspergers. According to the ATV piece Saturday and the links. The criteria to diagnose autism is being sharply tightened. Aspergers is being eliminated as a diagnosable disease.

Let's discuss them separately. From the ATV report there was a study back in 1994 and even then half of the children diagnosed with autism were misdiagnosed and didn't even have it. The DSM is recognizing that diagnosis is too loose, too subjective, too prone to pressure from self interested psychologists who know how lucrative a diagnosis is, especially when it is obvious what the parent wants to hear, especially when there's a benefits plan to stick with the bill.

As for aspergers. This is a "disease" whose symptoms include holding down high paying jobs and being in stable long term relationships. How many websites are out there about "husband has aspergers"? honey if there was a problem why did you get married? why did you stay married? why did you have children and then more children? You didn't seem to mind living off his paycheque all those years or stuffing your face with prescription drugs off his benefits plan.

It took the APA a lot of courage to make this move. There is an enormous entrenched industry in big pharma and psychologists around the status quo. They won't give up the gravy train without a fight. We already see the media starting to mobilize with the ATV piece. I expect a lot more resistance.


Anonymous said...

The names are just changing. All the same deficits are still present. Autism is a spectrum. They are re-classifying some of the social parts of it into a new diagnosis SOCIAL COMMUNICATION DISORDER. About 3/4 of those currently diagnosed under the Autism Spectrum Disorder (Autism Aspergers, PDD, etc) with be still diagnosed under new criteria with Autism. The rest, which will mostly include Aspergers & PDD, will fall under the new Social Communication Disorder. As well, many people who are currently not diagnosed under the autism umbrella because their Restricted, repetitive patterns of behavior, interests, or activities are not severe.
So, basically, autism's defining feature will be the Restricted, repetitive patterns of behavior, interests, or activities with Persistent deficits in social communication and social interaction across contexts. While those with Persistent deficits in social communication and social interaction across contexts now have a differently labelled disorder.
In the articles you referenced, it states all this. You really need to start reading for comprehension.
In the end, the behaviours and problems all still exist no matter what you call it and the problems they create need to be dealt with. It doesn't matter what you call it.
1994 was when Asperger's was first put into the DSM. The study states that many of those diagnosed with autism were later diagnosed with asperger's under the new 1994 criteria.

Lee said...

I've got Asperger's syndrome and so will probably be re-diagnosed as now having mild autism. Since resources are limited, those with a supposedly less severe disability such as myself will likely lose what little support we are getting.

I've read many blogs on the subject and no-one seems to be discussing the fact that the needs of people across the autistic are so very different. Many people with Asperger's, myself included, are capable of living fully independent lives but need a lot of intensive and expensive support...especially in the area of employment; whereas those with classical autism merely need their condition managing and stabilising.

delsquared said...

Lee I looked at your site. Given the obvious quality of the writing and the material there; I suspect there's nothing really wrong with you. you should be relieved!

in any case you are obviously talented and employable and the taxpayers should not be asked to pay for your bus pass.

I challenge you to do the right and honorable thing and buy your own bus pass with wages you earned from productive work. don't be a burden on your good neighbors taxes. it shouldn't be their responsibility to provide you with a bus pass. you are plainly employable and capable of providing for your own transportation