What Does the DSM-5 Report Mean?
“The DSM-5 eliminates subgroups solely for the sake of clarity, not to exclude anyone from diagnosis. Although we know differences exist in ASD, where we draw the lines between these subgroups causes confusion…Because ASD is a disorder that often passes through many different hands — neurologists, psychiatrists, psychologists, school counselors —it is very important to have a detailed and uniform system of diagnosis.”
–Max Wiznitzer, M.D., Associate Professor of Pediatric Neurology at Case Western Reserve University, Fellow of the American Academy of Neurology, and Milestones Autism Resources Board Member
“This Way In: Are the proposed criteria for diagnosing autism spectrum too restrictive?” June-July 2012; American Academy of Neurology website
With the release of the fifth edition of the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM-5) in 2013, autism spectrum disorders have changed in classification, causing concern that a person currently diagnosed with autism will lose their diagnosis or their services.
The DSM-5 takes the diagnoses of autism disorder, pervasive developmental disorder – not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS), and Asperger syndrome and combines them into a single diagnosis of autism. Additionally, there is a new diagnosis (Social Communication Disorder), which is meant to apply to those with problems within the social use of language, but do not show any other autism-like behaviors.
Many wonder why this significant change was made, and have voiced concern that the new report will take services away from deserving individuals. The federal Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC) has emphasized that individuals that have been previously diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder should retain their diagnosis and not be required to be re-evaluated under DSM-5 to keep their services.
We have collected a group of helpful website resources that can offer you assistance in deciphering what this new classification of autism and the creation of Social Communication Disorder means for your family.
If you have any additional questions, feel free to contact us at (216)464-7600 or via email.