Friday, January 27, 2012

DSM V: A real look

Lately the internet is a buzz with all sorts of chaos about the proposals for the new DSM (V) set for 2013. Petitions are flying, people are screaming and panicking...... STOP. Please stop. And please read this through so I can help you better understand. Your benefits, diagnosis, treatments, supports and what ever else are not being taken away. You are not going to lose your identity or anything else. Lets walk through it, shall we?

Primary complaint is that they are removing Asperger's and Rhett's syndrome from diagnosis in the DSM V. But hold on, that already happened. Yes, it already happened. DSM IV lists the new compound definition as Autistic Disorder. Read it HERE. Click on the tab that says DSM IV and read it.

What does this mean? It means that you either have autism or you don't, period. If you were diagnosed with Asperger's, then you have autism. If you were diagnosed with Rhett's, you have autism. It is not intended to take anyone's diagnosis away. It doesn't change your diagnosis except for the sake of a word.

Why did they do this? The biggest reason is that autism is already really hard to tie down in a category like when they had five forms listed before. It was hard to diagnose and still is. Having all the varied categories actually created more confusion than they were worth. Consider this:

Right now there are still several states where insurance will not cover treatments for "Asperger's" but they will for "Autism". Think about it. The new definition in the DSM means you are actually more likely to get the treatments and support you need because of insurance companies needs for specific terminologies.

Here is a quote from that same link under the tab of "rationale":

Because autism is defined by a common set of behaviors, it is best represented as a single diagnostic category that is adapted to the individual’s clinical presentation by inclusion of clinical specifiers (e.g., severity, verbal abilities and others) and associated features (e.g., known genetic disorders, epilepsy, intellectual disability and others.) A single spectrum disorder is a better reflection of the state of knowledge about pathology and clinical presentation; previously, the criteria were equivalent to trying to “cleave meatloaf at the joints”.

Be sure to read the tab for the DSM V. You will notice that nowhere does it say that you are not autistic if you were previously diagnosed under one of the five previous forms of autism. All that is happening is a change of terminology, nothing else. 

Asperger's and Rhett's have not ceased to exist, they are simply consider as "Autism". That is all. I hope that people can calm themselves soon and see this before they cause themselves a lot of unnecessary stress. 


Anonymous said...

hi- I live in the midwest USA
between chicago Milwaukee
I would like to know what is the 1st route to take to try to figure out if my child has aspergers.
My insurance denied a claim last year saying a visit to a Psych was "not medically necessary". So I am supposed to use the school. The school will be observing my child soon. Do you have any suggestions for me.?

DJ Wilde said...

Sorry it took so long to respond to you. I never got the email that said there was a comment. Anyway, you should write down all the issues you see in your child that concern you. Write exactly what your child does and how they do it. Provide this to your child's doctor and see if they will give you a referral to a specialist. You can also give the information to the school. Research the condition and learn all you possibly can.

Lee said...

I've got Asperger's syndrome and so will probably be re-diagnosed as now having mild autism. Since resources are limited, those with a supposedly less severe disability such as myself will likely lose what little support we are getting.

I've read many blogs on the subject and no-one seems to be discussing the fact that the needs of people across the autistic are so very different. Many people with Asperger's, myself included, are capable of living fully independent lives but need a lot of intensive and expensive support...especially in the area of employment; whereas those with classical autism merely need their condition managing and stabilising.

DJ Wilde said...

Lee, I've been listed as mild autism as well. But what you have to do is ask your doctor directly. Let your support system know you still need help. You still need "medications, counseling" or what ever it is that you need. Don't give up on your own support and make your voice heard. That is the key and the only key. Your comment has spurred something with me Lee and I will write on it for you and my other readers, thank you.