6 Questions You Need To Ask About Aspergers Autism
Where Did "Aspergers" Go?
The Aspergers Autism Mystery Explained
Maybe you’ve noticed by now that the term “Aspergers” isn’t used as often as in the past.
Often you’ll hear the terms aspergers autism used interchangeably.
As of October 2014, the American Psychiatric Association changed updated its diagnostic manual, and effectively discarded the term “Aspergers.”
In this article, I’ll explain what happened to the term to help you better understand the recent changes.
What is the DSM-5?
The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) is the 2013 update to the American Psychiatric Association‘s (APA) classification and diagnostic tool. In the United States the DSM serves as a universal authority for psychiatric diagnosis.
There are no more subcategories, or “types” of autism: The terms Asperger syndrome, PDD-NOS, childhood disintegrative disorder and autistic disorder are all folded into the broader term, “autism spectrum disorder.”
Previously, autism challenges were grouped into three domains: social impairment, language/communication impairment and repetitive/restricted behaviors. Now, “a diagnosis will require a person to exhibit three deficits in social communication and at least two symptoms in the category of restricted range of activities/repetitive behaviors. Within the second category, a new symptom will be included: hyper- or hypo-reactivity to sensory input or unusual interests in sensory aspects of the environment.” (Answers to Frequently Asked Questions About DSM-5)
In the past, autism was only diagnosed in childhood. Now, it can be diagnosed at any age.
“In addition to the diagnosis, each person evaluated will also be described in terms of any known genetic cause (e.g. fragile X syndrome, Rett syndrome), level of language and intellectual disability and presence of medical conditions such as seizures, anxiety, depression, and/or gastrointestinal (GI) problems.” (Answers to Frequently Asked Questions About DSM-5)
The DSM-5 researchers added “a new category called Social Communication Disorder (SCD). This will allow for a diagnosis of disabilities in social communication without the presence of repetitive behavior.” (Answers to Frequently Asked Questions About DSM-5)
The change to the term “Aspergers” is a mixed bag. Many have lamented the loss of the term. However, if you were diagnosed Aspergers, you can still use that term! It’s still recognized. It’s just that, going forward, Aspergers will not be used for new clients diagnosed with autism.
Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links." This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."