Wednesday, December 5, 2012

American Psychiatric Association Approves DSM-5 Revision

Earlier this week, the American Psychiatric Association voted to accept the revised fifth edition of its Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). This manual is used by clinicians nationwide to diagnose mental health conditions. DSM-5 will be published in spring 2013.

The revision introduces two fundamental changes in the diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Two distinct autism subtypes, autistic disorder and Asperger syndrome, will be collapsed into one unifying diagnosis of ASD.

The current three symptom domains of social impairment, communication deficits and repetitive/restricted behaviors will become two: social communication impairment and repetitive/restricted behaviors.

These changes have a strong scientific rationale and will have a significant impact on how ASD is diagnosed. It can also affect access to services and influence how the prevalence of ASD is measured.

For more information visit Autism Speaks.

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