View Full Version : Asperger's Dropped From Diagnosis Manual

12-01-2012, 08:17 PM
I know this isn't Lupus related but since we have several members with this disorder I decided to post this story. I found it interesting.

Dec. 1 6:38 PM EST
Home Health Asperger's dropped from revised diagnosis manual

CHICAGO (AP) The now familiar term "Asperger's disorder" is being dropped. And abnormally bad and frequent temper tantrums will be given a scientific-sounding diagnosis called DMDD. But "dyslexia" and other learning disorders remain.

The revisions come in the first major rewrite in nearly 20 years of the diagnostic guide used by the nation's psychiatrists. Changes were approved Saturday.

Full details of all the revisions will come next May when the American Psychiatric Association's new diagnostic manual is published, but the impact will be huge, affecting millions of children and adults worldwide. The manual also is important for the insurance industry in deciding what treatment to pay for, and it helps schools decide how to allot special education.

This diagnostic guide "defines what constellations of symptoms" doctors recognize as mental disorders, said Dr. Mark Olfson, a Columbia University psychiatry professor. More important, he said, it "shapes who will receive what treatment. Even seemingly subtle changes to the criteria can have substantial effects on patterns of care."

Olfson was not involved in the revision process. The changes were approved Saturday in suburban Washington, D.C., by the psychiatric association's board of trustees.

The aim is not to expand the number of people diagnosed with mental illness, but to ensure that affected children and adults are more accurately diagnosed so they can get the most appropriate treatment, said Dr. David Kupfer. He chaired the task force in charge of revising the manual and is a psychiatry professor at the University of Pittsburgh.

One of the most hotly argued changes was how to define the various ranges of autism. Some advocates opposed the idea of dropping the specific diagnosis for Asperger's disorder. People with that disorder often have high intelligence and vast knowledge on narrow subjects but lack social skills. Some who have the condition embrace their quirkiness and vow to continue to use the label.

And some Asperger's families opposed any change, fearing their kids would lose a diagnosis and no longer be eligible for special services.

But the revision will not affect their education services, experts say.

The new manual adds the term "autism spectrum disorder," which already is used by many experts in the field. Asperger's disorder will be dropped and incorporated under that umbrella diagnosis. The new category will include kids with severe autism, who often don't talk or interact, as well as those with milder forms.


12-01-2012, 10:02 PM
thankyou mari for this story as you know my youngest mikaela has aspergers. i know they also call it autistic spectrum disorder. i really hope this is not a trend to try and save money by renaming this disorder mikaela relies on the funding we get for her. as children with this disorder do have some thing s they are extremely genius at mikaelas is artistic. but she functions very badly at all other subjects. and her social interaction skills are bad. these doctors need to be mindful on how these changes will affect individuals. and the almighty dollar always seems to be there main concern especially insurance companies.

12-02-2012, 08:03 AM
I heard this on CNN, and immediately thought of some of our members here. There are many people with autoimmune disorders who also have Asperger's.

I don't know if this is a change for the better, or a change for the worse. Hopefully it will be for the better.

12-02-2012, 08:23 AM
as someone who has aspergers......
the change is supposed to not stop our treatment , just recategorise the title.
but i see it as a step backwards.

now many different types of autism are joined into one umbrella label.
this cannot be good for people who need support.

12-02-2012, 08:25 AM
but i see it as a step backwards.

now many different types of autism are joined into one umbrella label.
this cannot be good for people who need support.

That's what I was thinking too.

12-02-2012, 01:03 PM
I just read this on MSN, this is just making an already difficult disorder even more confusing. One of my doctors has Asperger's, I really like him as a doctor but most people don't.

12-02-2012, 03:45 PM
Like the rest of you, I can see so many issues in this "new catergorizing" (I know, I made that word up) of this condition. I have two god-sons with Asperger's and they already have a very difficult time with schools, treatments, and some prejudices and pre-conceived (albeit uninformed) notions about a condition that is already difficult to understand. I am not sure if this is for the benefit of the patient or for insurance companies!
I feel that I need to study this a bit more, but right now I am not sure that I like it!

Peace and Blessings

12-03-2012, 07:33 AM
Thanks Mari for the link. My wife and I have been watching this for years. It's just another way a government justifies their existance, by re-defining words and/or history. It doesn't change a thing for our family, since we're no longer using the public schools. They might say our boy would fall under the "autism spectrum disorder" umbrella, but what they don't mention is the "re-defining" of that particular term that they did a few years ago. "High-functioning" isn't part of it. That's just a "personality trait" and not a medical issue. I'm sure that if my child (who is now home-schooled anyway) were in a public school in our area, and would happen to "act out" and be disruptive, they might change their minds about him (tho I doubt it), but when he was in first grade (he's 4th now, and a year "behind"), they wouldn't "diagnose" him, in spite of multiple doctor diagnoses. "It's-a catch-a twenty-two-a"... They *will* save money in the school district come heck or high water, no matter how much it costs... |;^)

12-03-2012, 07:51 AM
this has started quite a few debated and discussions in australia.
i haved added a few comments from a local news report.

AAP 2012
A study by Autism Spectrum Australia clinical psychologist Dr Vicki Gibbs found that about 16 per cent of those diagnosed with Asperger's under the current guidelines would not meet the new criteria.
Overall, about 26 per cent of those diagnosed with any autism spectrum disorder under the existing criteria would not get a diagnosis under the changes, Dr Gibbs said.
Professor Ian Hickie from the Brain and Mind Research Institute at Sydney University said Australia was not bound to follow the US approach.
He said the decision was designed to limit in the US the healthcare and services to those who are most impaired and would not be used in the same way in Australia.

the more i read..... the more i do NOT like.

12-03-2012, 07:55 AM
This story was just mentioned as "coming up after the break" again on CNN, so I sat down to listen to the story, only to find them spending a briefly uninformative 10 seconds on it, and then immediately spending the next three minutes thirty seconds talking about the latest drunken escapades of some Hollywood starlet idiot that I could care less about.

Frakking worthless news people.

Mini-rant over.


12-04-2012, 03:42 PM
the *real* news is ignored, or glossed over, within 30 secs. The "fluff" gets the majority of the attention span of the talking heads... ratings and "share"...
end of 'nother mini-rant.

12-04-2012, 05:48 PM
the *real* news is ignored, or glossed over, within 30 secs. The "fluff" gets the majority of the attention span of the talking heads... ratings and "share"...end of 'nother mini-rant.

It reminds me of the song Dirty Laundry by Don Henley-

I make my living off the Evening News
Just give me something-something I can use
People love it when you lose,
They love dirty laundry

Well I coulda been an actor, but I wound up here
I just have to look good, I don't have to be clear
Come and whisper in my ear
Give us dirty laundry

12-07-2012, 03:15 PM
Our band used to try to do that a-way-a-back-a-when... unfortunately, no one could sing it like the original... lol

12-17-2012, 04:38 PM
There was a discussion on the Sjogren's site about somatization disorders. They were concerned that this could make it easier for docs to label people like us as having a mental disorder. We already have enough problems with being told that "it's all in your head" or that we're just "drug-seeking".

Here's the link to the article that they were discussing:

How do you feel?