Asperger’s Parents Respond to Changes in the DSM-5

Changes to the DSM-5 manual and the criteria for autism diagnosis is a hot topic. In the manual, Asperger Syndrome will be no more. Anyone with Asperger Syndrome will be diagnosed as ASD-Level 1. There has been a wide range of responses to these changes. Today.com posted an article, Farewell to Aspies: Some families reluctant to let go of Asperger’s diagnosis, that discusses the responses to this major change. 

 

Timothy Bumpus and his mother, Catzell feel strongly that Asperger Syndrome should have its own category. Timothy commented, “Some of the most brilliant people had Asperger Syndrome, and you just can’t put that under the title of Autism.” His mother agrees by stating, “His mind works in a very different way, but we focus on the positive. I don’t call it disabled. I call it differently-abled. There are so many articles I’ve read where people say it’s not a disability at all, that it’s a giftedness. It’s just a whole other level of giftedness. I think [in the DSM-5], Asperger’s should be in its own unique category.”

 

Others feel differently. Deborah Knutesen, mother of a 7 year old boy with autism, has another opinion. She says, “I think if there’s a definition of Asperger’s and you fall into that, then you’re part of the party. If a different name makes you feel better, okay, but you’re still part of it. And you should be an advocate for it. Our society always has to have a class system. It makes me laugh. [Asperger’s parents] consider themselves the upper class of autism.”

 

Time will tell what the long-term effects will be. Experts are optimistic because they believe it will enable everyone on the spectrum to get the care that they need. Download a free chapter of my upcoming book on “Out of Mind – Out of Sight: Parenting with a Partner with Asperger Syndrome.” 

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