How Changes in New DSM-5 Impact Those with Asperger Syndrome

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders is making changes to the criteria that psychiatrists use to diagnosis mental disorders. The DSM-IV edition uses Classic Autism, Asperger Syndrome, and Pervasive Developmental Disorder as diagnoses.

According to the American Psychiatric Association, the “criteria will incorporate several diagnoses from DSM-IV including Autistic Disorder, Asperger’s Disorder, Childhood Disintegrative Disorder and Pervasive Developmental Disorder (not otherwise specified) into the diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder for DSM-5 to help more accurately and consistently diagnose children with autism.” If an individual would have previously been diagnosed as having Asperger Syndrome, they would now be diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. The American Psychiatric Associate board of trustees has approved the changes and they will go into effect on May 2013. (For more information, read Psychiatric Association Approves Changes to Diagnostic Manual)

These new revisions will impact the lives of many. Regardless of the diagnosis, Asperger Syndrome does not disappear. However, many Aspies and their loved ones are worried by this adjustment. Since they do not view themselves as autistic, they feel like it would label them as something different than they are. This revision has the potential to impact their future especially since Asperger’s has recently been accepted and understood on a greater level.

For more information on Asperger Syndrome, visit Frequently Asked Questions.

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