Monday, August 28, 2017

New diagnosis covers ‘borderlands’ of autism spectrum

Children with social (pragmatic) communication disorder (SCD) have the same features as children with autism — just fewer of them, according to a large study of children with either condition1. The results suggest that the condition is a useful addition to doctors’ diagnostic repertoire.

SCD was introduced in 2013 with the release of the fifth edition of the “Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders” (DSM-5). The move spurred criticism from some experts who said there was little evidence that SCD differs from other conditions such as autism.

SCD is characterized by social difficulties and communication problems, which are also features of autism. The addition of SCD to the manual was part of a diagnostic shake-up that also redefined autism and removed a related condition called pervasive developmental disorder-not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS).
Researchers feared some children would fall through the cracks of the reworked divisions. But the new study suggests SCD captures children with autism features who would not otherwise receive an autism diagnosis.

Read more here at Spectrum.