Wednesday, February 1, 2012

New Definition Will Affect Services for Thousands

From The Atlantic's Laura McKenna is a former political science professor who writes regularly at Apt. 11D

This isn't just an academic debate: By rewriting autism's definition, the American Psychiatric Association will affect services for thousands.
Everyone, now, has something to say about autism. While TV shows, such as Touch, portray autistic children as possessing superhuman powers, the American Psychiatric Association (APA) is busy revising its definition of the disorder to focus on only the most affected individuals. Under their new revision of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DMS), the tome that describes and codes psychiatric issues ranging from autism to substance abuse to schizophrenia, people with higher functioning autism, sometimes called PDD or Aspergers or simply high functioning autism, could lose the autistic label.
The new DSM V definition, which reads like a Dim Sum menu of dysfunction, states that an autistic person must have three deficits in social communication, show two out of four patterns of repetitive behavior, and begin to display deficits in childhood.

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