The new criteria for Autism in the DSM V are incorrect and are harmful to a specific population that is both vulnerable and some without voice to advocate for themselves in this matter. People who have Asperger's Syndrome or Pervasive Development Disorder (NOS) will be suddenly removed from their current status on the Autism Spectrum with the implementation of the new DSM V as it is proposed today.
The changes will render many children suddenly ineligible for special education IEP’s in public education and for covered treatment and care from medical professionals who are treating them today for their conditions. These children are not being treated or receiving services today that they do not need nor which are being obtained under false pretenses - they are being treated by competent and professional medical personnel who both see their deficits and needs, and see a capacity for benefit from their treatment.
The new proposed criteria remove from the DSM the complete disorder of Asperger’s Syndrome, which has a historical and relevant place, and does not further categorize it under Autism. It is part of many people’s self understanding and its removal does them a great harm. The changes fail to provide any gain for either the other members of the Autism community or the professionals who serve it.
Further, the classification of Asperger’s and Pervasive Development Disorder by using subjective criteria which reliant on the observable current functional status of a person, as opposed to a fixed and measurable diagnostic criteria, is insufficient. There are in existence known physical diagnostic tools which show autism as a neurological brain condition, not a subjective disorder which is phychiatric in nature. Your new definition will result in people being incorrectly diagnosed when in fact they show brain imaging to the contrary. Your changes should not proceed.
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