Thursday, April 26, 2018

Why no one needs a diagnosis of ‘social communication disorder’

Five years ago, a new diagnostic category, ‘social communication (pragmatic) disorder,’ made its debut in the DSM-5, the latest version of the “Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.” I was a skeptic: I argued, along with many others, that there simply was not enough evidence for the existence of this condition.
I was also concerned that the category would renew the practice of assigning vague diagnoses, such as pervasive developmental disorder-not otherwise specified, in place of autism, just when the DSM-5 seemed to have put an end to it.
That worry never materialized. And I’m still not sure it’s a useful diagnostic category.