Asperger’s Syndrome Will No Longer Be a Diagnosis—What Does This Mean?

Filed in Gather News Channel by on December 2, 2012 0 Comments

Asperger’s Syndrome will no longer be a diagnosis psychiatrists use. Once considered under the umbrella of Autism, Asperger’s was a different diagnosis—with different characteristics. Now the revised Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) of Mental Disorders will just list “autism spectrum disorder” which is a much broader category.

So what does this mean for those already diagnosed with an Asperger’s diagnosis? Hopefully nothing and according to The Guardian, the change was made in order to treat patients more accurately rather to just lump everyone together.

The latest revision leaves some parents uneasy as they fear their child may lose services or aid without a specific diagnosis. Those who have Asperger’s are often high functioning individuals who lack proper social skills. Autism can include people who cannot speak or communicate and need constant care to those who can work and live alone.

While the change to the DSM seems well intended and properly researched, is it fair to lump anyone who has symptoms of Autism under one diagnosis? Now that awareness of Autism has become widespread, it appears as if this revision is taking a step backwards. If everyone who shows symptoms of Autism are under one diagnosis will they receive the same treatment?

This may not work well for those with higher levels of functioning, just as those who are severely autistic require a much higher level of care. Is your child diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome? Do you fear this diagnosis change?

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