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Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Is It Time to Give Up on a Single Diagnostic Label for Autism?

Five years ago, the American Psychiatric Association (APA) established autism spectrum disorder (ASD) as an umbrella term when it published the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM-5), the primary guide to taxonomy in psychiatry. In creating this single diagnostic category, the APA also removed the subgroup called Asperger syndrome that had been in place since 1994. 

A widely held view is that medicine makes more progress by identifying subgroups, and AS versus classic autism were two very useful subgroups, because they are quite different in terms of likely levels of independence and educational and occupational attainment. Many parents, such as Alison Singer in her keynote speech in the 2017 INSAR annual meeting, also argued that by lumping AS and classic autism together, the breadth of autistic individuals is not adequately represented—that the single diagnostic category benefits neither subgroup.

Read more here at Scientific American.