Under the current manual, called the DSM-IV, children who meet the criteria for having autism are diagnosed with and told they have autistic disorder (also known as 'classic' autism) or Asperger's Syndrome or PDD-NOS, which stands for "Pervasive Developmental Disorder - Not Otherwise Specified."
In the new "DSM-5" manual, "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," according to an APA statement Saturday.
There seems to be a great deal of worry over children that will no longer meet the criteria for autism and therefore won't get the help they need. Anywhere from 5% to 40% of people may not fall under this new umbrella.
Other changes include: Substance abuse and Substance dependence becoming one disorder, Hoarding being separated from the OCD umbrella and becoming its own disorder, and PTSD getting a new diagnostic cluster for Complex PTSD, with sensitivity towards PTSD in children and adolescents.
Hoarding being the only thing I'm remotely familiar with (Asperger's and the like confuse me) I can only say that I've known people who pretty much were hoarders without really knowing that they were. That is, they didn't think of themselves as having a problem since they weren't OCD about anything else in their life. Maybe this is the start to getting them help?
I think it's good that hoarding is classified on its own now, personally. I watch Hoarders a lot and I've noticed with these people that it's often a case of them not realizing what's happened, like what Scarf said. Most of them seem to have some other disorder though, whether mental or physical, which I think contributes to it.
As for the Asperger's and autism thing...what exactly is that about? Did they raise the criteria for the diagnosis or something? Maybe I'm just reading it wrong. Having a hard time comprehending what it's saying, sorry.
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If we keep lumping things under the 'Autism spectrum disorder' label then all we're doing is skewing the real numbers and making actual diagnoses harder. That one in 88 number (Which is wrong, lol) will become like 1 in 50 and people will panic.
As someone with (Albeit minor) autism I'm certainly concerned that other people with autism will no longer be getting the help they need. On the other hand I'm also glad for more specific criteria since now not all abnormalities in a person can be treated as autism and as such those of us who actually have it will get the help. In saying that I'm not even positive I fit the new criteria and I have to tell you I'm fairly certain I have autism (and yes I'm actually diagnosed, not self-diagnosed).