Update on the Diagnosis Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5)
May 14, 2013
By Autism Society
On Saturday, May 18, 2013, the updated Diagnosis Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) will be released. The DSM-5 is a document of the American Psychiatric Association. The DSM-5 Manual is used by many organizations, individuals and government to diagnosis a particular disorder, including autism.
The DSM-5 will make some changes into how autism is defined. In the past, the Diagnosis Manual defined what a diagnosis of autism needed to include, but also separated an Asperger Syndrome diagnosis and some other common elements of autism. In the DSM-5, there is no longer a separate diagnosis category for Asperger Syndrome and other sub parts of autism but rather there will now be one diagnosis definition for autism. In addition, the DSM-5 also reduces social related elements of autism into social communication impairment and repetitive/restricted behaviors.
Those working on the DSM-5 have repeated many times that no one with a current diagnosis of autism will be impacted by these changes. However, it is possible that government and other providers of programs might choose to re-diagnosis under the new definition to determine if the individual still is defined as living with autism for purposes of receiving services. We applaud the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), under the director of Dr. Tom Insel, who has chosen not to place so much weight on the DSM-5 diagnosis categories. According to NIMH, NIMH will not use DSM categories as the “gold standard” and will begin moving away from an exclusive focus on symptom-based categories.
The Autism Society of America strongly urges every government unit and service provider not to reduce or eliminated services to individual currently getting services due to the DSM-5 changes. In addition, the Autism Society of America encourages government units and service providers to fully understand and appreciate that a person who might not be defined as living with autism under the new DSM-5 criteria still needs the support and helping hand of government.
If you or your child is denied services, have services reduced, or impacted in any other way because of the DSM-5 change, please do not hesitate to call Autism Source, the Autism Society of America’s 7 day a week contact center for information and help. To reach Autism Source, call 1-800-3-AUTISM (328-8476). Trained and certified information specialists are available from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Monday thru Friday and from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Saturday and Sunday (all times are Eastern Standard Time) to answer your call for help and information. In addition, you can access available services and other information at www.autism-society.org and go to the link for information on the home page.
Do not accept a denial of services, loss of services or reduction of services because of this change. In almost every government funded program, you have a right to an appeal.
April 10, 2013
The Autism Society, the nation’s largest and oldest grassroots autism organization, has chosen Pittsburgh as the host city of its 44th annual conference on autism spectrum disorders.
April 5, 2013
Individuals with autism can attend the Autism Society National Conference and Exposition (in Pittsburgh) for FREE this year! Learn more: www.autism-society.org/conference.
April 3, 2013
Monarch Teaching Technologies, the makers of VizZle®, web-based educational software for visual learners with autism, will give one-year of free VizZle to every new (or renewing) Champion Member during April.
April 2, 2013
Read the Autism Society’s digital magazine about autism spectrum disorders!
April 2, 2013
Today, throughout the world, individuals will come together highlighting the needs and dreams of people living with autism.