Sunday, January 22, 2012

WebMD explains the proposed narrowing of "autism" definition

Here’s a WebMD story explaining the proposed change in the definition of autism, in a update written by the American Psychiatric Association, to the DSM, to be completed by the end of 2012.

The consolidation of several disorders had already started, but most kids with higher functioning and Asperger’s syndrome would not be included, which would mean they would not get services.   75% of those with Asperger’s would no longer be included.  I suspect that as a boy, under modern diagnosis, I would have fit within the 75%.  It’s not clear how this would affect the gender distribution. Under today’s classification, almost 80% of the autism spectrum disorder diagnoses are for boys.

But certainly there comes a point where Asperger-like traits are not pathological, and merely, even if genetically influenced, are more appropriately viewed as personality traits.  At the higher end, some very introverted kids are highly gifted and successful in their specialized areas (like the arts or music, or computer programming), even prodigies, when allowed to be.

The WebMD page is here

Update: Jan. 30

The Huffington Post has reproduced a Scientific American article by Ferris Jabr that gives more details explaining the pattern change in definitions from DSM-IV to DSM-5.  I like the word "kerfuffle". There is some "grandfathering" of previous patients. The link to the story is here.

Here's a long piece in the Los Angeles Times by Alan Zarembo about autistic adults "hiding in plain sight", Dec. 16, 2011, link.

Here's another video I took from Occupy Congress Tuesday:


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