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DSM V Changes for Autism. Your Thoughts?

Venn Tell us what you think of the proposed changes in the DSM V to include Asperger's in with autism and PDDs. Read the full story at CNN.

(CNN) -- People with Asperger's syndrome would be included in the same diagnostic group as people with autism and pervasive developmental disorders, according to new guidelines under consideration by the American Psychiatric Association.

The AP story in the New York Times reads:

CHICAGO (AP) -- Some people with Asperger's syndrome are upset about proposed changes in how their form of autism is diagnosed.

U.S. psychiatrists are revising the manual they use to diagnose mental illness. One proposal would eliminate Asperger's as a separate diagnosis and group it in a single autism spectrum disorders category.

Many people with Asperger's call themselves Aspies and view their condition as their identity. They don't think of themselves as autistic.

The revisions are based on recent research showing little difference between mild autism and Asperger's. The American Psychiatric Association is taking public comment before adopting the revisions.



cia parker

The mental diagnosis IS a medical diagnosis. All mental illness is caused by something in the physical system that isn't working the way it's supposed to. I don't think it's appropriate to be very sensitive about the suggestion. OK, mentally ill sounds like crazy, but that's not always the case. And then you have to think about what craziness is, its causes, and how you define it. You could be profoundly depressed for no apparent reason, and that would be a mental illness, but not craziness. The book The Age of Autism had a fascinating chapter on mental illness and how it skyrocketed as soon as the industrial revolution had put a lot of mercury and other toxins into the environment.

Someone who has had a stroke is often mentally ill even if they survive and recover to some degree. My mother got Alzheimer's from all the flu shots she and my father took for fifteen years or so. And I think you'd have to call that mental illness.. As well as Asperger's and bowel disease from the diphtheria shot. I can't speak for all autistic people, but the one I know the best doesn't have normal thought processes, doesn't reason normally, and blames people unfairly and with little or no basis. I think you'd have to call that mental illness, but we're working hard on recovery and have made a lot of progress.

And I think it depends on language. Without the use of intact language structures in the brain, the person is impaired in their development and thought processes, manifesting in many ways, but I think you'd have to call it mental illness, and eligible for a listing in the DSM. It's not insulting and doesn't mean that recovery is not possible.

cia parker

I think we have to just totally discount official estimates of the different disorders on the autism spectrum. Only two in 10,000 have Asperger's? That's ridiculous. What happens is that it still isn't diagnosed very often. My brother, mother, nephew and I definitely have/had it, but only my nephew, born in 1990, was diagnosed with it. Since I realized in 2004 when I started reading about autism that I had it, I've realized that five other people I know well have it, but have never been diagnosed and do not realize it themselves. My daughter was in a self-contained autism class in middle school, about fifteen kids, but she was the only one with severe language issues, and in her they were very severe, but no one on the school or district-wide special ed/language staff had any understanding of it nor were they willing to learn and try to address it appropriately. My daughter attended a workshop for autism for teen girls several years ago offered by our speech therapist, about seven or eight other girls, and all of them were verbal and high-functioning. It was depressing for us. My daughter didn't get anything out of the workshop. That therapist says that among her clientele, about a third are unable to speak at all. I believe that another third are low-verbal, in the general category as my daughter. And I believe that the top third are either high-functioning autists or Asperger's. I've only met one boy here from Cecily's autism class in sixth grade who was completely unintelligible when he talked, but that school got a big influx of severely affected autistic children several years ago, so much below those they had previously had that they had to start a new class for them. They were extremely low to non-verbal, and not toilet-trained, so they had to move the previous autism class to another classroom so they could use the one with the restroom in one corner of the room. Either there was a real increase in the severely-affected, more compliance with the vaccine schedule?, or there was just an increased ability and desire to put them in public school. Several people have told me that a lot of autism families move here after the diagnosis to take advantage of all the autism facilities here, but that, again, is ridiculous. There are NO autism facilities here, NOTHING effective. Maybe wishful thinking on the part of these autism families.

I would say that at this time it would probably be appropriate to think of the spectrum as being divided into thirds, and move the lines up or down as we get more information.

cia parker

I think the crucial factor in determining Asperger's vs. classic autism is the length of time which the vaccine encephalitis lasts. In my daughter's case, the screaming syndrome went on for four days and nights. She was only seventeen hours old when they gave her the hep-B vaccine without my permission or knowledge which she reacted to starting at four and a half days old. I reacted to the DPT vaccine given at three months old. I think age, genes, the particular vaccine, health at the time, etc., all play a role in determining how long the encephalitis lasts. I am obviously very verbal and have been since I was six or seven, but I'll bet you that if I had gotten a vaccine at seventeen hours old, I would have been much more severely affected and wouldn't be here today writing this.

cia parker

They might as well include Asperger's on the autism spectrum. It's part of the high-functioning third. It's still brain damage caused by vaccines. I have it and my brother has it, my mother had it. We both reacted to our first DPT: me with screaming syndrome for days, and he with beating his head on the bars of his crib. My mother reacted to the diphtheria vaccine with Asperger's and bowel disease. The use of the word "spectrum" is key. Aspies will just have to process the idea that their identity was shaped by a vaccine reaction and brain damage.

They often say that Aspies start to speak at the normal age, and that differentiates them from the autistic. I don't know if that's true, or if maybe my mother, brother, my brother's son, and I have been high-functioning autists rather than Aspies. My mother and I were very delayed in starting to speak: when I started kindergarten at four I spoke very little and no one but my parents could understand me. I was hyperlexic, and no one realized I had taught myself to read by four until my grandmother gave me a primer I had never seen and I read it all the way through only stumbling on the unfamiliar word "baggage." My father taped my reading a Dennis the Menace comic book: they thought I had memorized it from having had it read to me, but it was hard to tell since I was unintelligible. My nephew was also very delayed in starting to speak. The four of us all got college degrees.

I think it's appropriate to have Aspies on the spectrum: the important line should be drawn between those who can use language at close to the expected level or not. All efforts should be expended on constructing language circuits in the brains of those so impaired. Everything depends on these circuits, destroyed or severely damaged by the vaccine encephalitis. Memory, reasoning, the ability to follow narratives, and, thence, the ability to feel empathy with the characters in the narratives (meaning your neighbor, your friends, everyone in the world), ALL of them, depend on functioning neural circuits in the language center of the brain.

Michael Polidori

More important that any other changes in the definiton of autism is the attempt to eliminate regression from autism diagnosis.

We cannot allow this to happen unchallenged. It is an attempt to bury any idea that vaccines may be involved.

In 2008 there was a DSM-V conference report from Michael First of the APA (http://www.psych.org/MainMenu/Research/DSMIV/DSMV/DSMRevisionActivities/ConferenceSummaries/AutismConference.aspx)

The fourth panel of that conference was devoted to regression -
"Clinically it [regression] is commonly seen in Rett Syndrome but not included in the criteria, and is not even mentioned in Autistic Disorder, Asperger’s Disorder, or PDD-NOS, although it is known to occur fairly frequently."

In the 4th panel report regression is mentioned 24 times and the phrase "regressive autism" is also used - "In regressive autism, the skills are lost in the second year of life, while in “early onset” autism, skills are lost in the first year of life"

2 of 3 breakout groups were dealing with the issue of regression.

Yet in the final draft of the DSM-V "regression" is not mentioned once regarding autism, neither is "regressive autism".

If you deny regression as a symptom of autism then you exclude the possibility of a trigger, like vaccines, and completely blame genes.

The final draft is in, is there any noise we can make, & to whom, at this stage of the creation of the DSM-V?

Laura Paxton

I am a female with Asperger's Syndrome. It is moderate, not mild. I require in-home health services to live independently. I am disabled and cannot work. Not all AS is mild. Particularly in females, whose verbal skills may be stronger than males, the true functioning level may be disguised and they are often not able to receive help. The new criterion in DSM-V (necessary lack of social reciprocity) may hurt them. I've started a petition against this: http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/DSMV-Criterion-Unfair-to-Girls


Mr. Wonderful thanks for sharing your thoughts on this. Because I am having a lot of trouble with this.

I will be the first to admit I may not be able to see the whole picture

I do see your point.

Your anology is good but I am not sure ---

If you had the flu you get better and get on with your life, but with emphysema you know it is a disease that you are not going to get better with, and probably die of.

So my confusion is: When my son was five had full blown autism??? That was emphysema. When my son was 10 and had PDD-NOS and tourettes??? When my son was 12 and his tonic jerks from seizures was getting worse (no help what so ever from all the doctors)??? When my son was 17 and falling down with epilepsy and broke his nose??? When my son was 20 and deep in to aggressive depression because of zonnegram (a seizure medication)??? - At 23 he will have to take seizure medicine all his life??? He still walks with heavy flat feet??? He ask me silly philoshophical questions and keeps asking??? His fine motor skills are still bad??? He still lines up his toys like a six year old???
He has no job unless I can twist the arms of the state of Kentucky to get busy and earn my tax dollars they are receiving for vocationally rehabilation (no traning, just teaching him how to go to interviews and they won't even do that right now). His health insurance runs out this year so I wonder how were the cheapest place to get his seizure medicine and maybe I can make martin boxes (I am retired) for a little more income to help pay for it. I wonder if this inflammatory disease is involving his heart and the veins around it (DPT shot did give him a heart murmur when the first time it was given) other family members with health insurance is finding that is the case with them.

I just telling you how it is here - he is not biting my finger off, he no longer pushes me down or around, but if he is angry enough he does not care to grab my arm and set me out of his space. SOOOO anything I want him to do I have to let him know in advance and remind him untill that time comes.

What are we going to do when dignosis is changing, the kids are improving after a stroke. Do we just let the CDC, NIH, the Health and Human resources get away with it??? Do we let them say oh never mind these kids that were hurt with the vaccines don't worry they get better whent they get older. We will no longer count them in the statistics???
As long as they are not institutionalized they will try to act like there is no harm.


It'll mean the rate of autism is even higher. Add all they want. They got the way they are the same as my child........Just not as affected.

Mr Wonderful

Benedetta, In response to your question to Donna;
Yes, her two sons could be on opposite ends of a spectrum, but as I said earlier, the flu and emphysema could also be the opposite ends of the respiratory disorder spectrum.
And, in case I didn't mention it before, the DSM IV doesn't list an "Autism Spectrum". So why do they want to start one now?
HEY, That's a good question, but maybe not for this forum.


I can't wait. The diagnosis depends on the psychiatrist/psychologist/dev. ped - their bias, when they went to med school/grad school. It's arbitrary.

My ASD/Asperger child with a big dollop of ADHD thrown in there - oh and don't forget - the you're nuts and there is nothing wrong with your child diagnosis. The only thing he didn't get was PDDNOS.

Why does my child have so many different diagnosises (in a few short years) and he was basically an improved child - but with all the same disabilities?

One - 28m - ASD - The best and simplest - too bad it didn't qualify us for ABA services - as it was a private psychologist.

Two - The idiot who UNDIAGNOSED my child - his diagnosis had to be confirmed by our service provider hospital. This jerk is infamous in our town for being c--p. I could go on and on. By the time we got to him (6m later) I found out his reputation (and couldn't imagine stopping the clock - and getting on some else's queue at the hospital). I couldn't believe it - my child had 20,000 ASD signs. YUP, it was true - he sucks. OLD MAN who went to med school in the early 70s. His reputation is all over the hospital and all levels - but no one can get rid of a doctor.

Diagnosis three - had to turn this "undiagnosis" over and got a BS Aspergers diagnosis by an amazing doctor (internationally famous). But, in his defense - he certainly didn't want to be involved with ME turning in the other doctor and raising hell - so he had to write my child's diagnosis as lightly as possible
My kid only got better - but really - he's very much the same - just better.

What a joke.

PDDNOS is a joke too. Especially as it doesn't mean "lightly dusted". I know someone whose child is non-verbal and has a PDDNOS diagnosis. It just means - that the child doesn't fit criteria on all spheres. But, the parents who run around holding it up as their child isn't really on spectrum crack me up.

I remember a quote from Karyn Seroussi's book about a mother saying "it's just PDDNOS" - as if PERVASIVE DEVELOPMENT DISORDER isn't serious!!! I've always hooted over that - and have used it again and again.

I run into all sorts of people - HFA/ASPERGERS/AUTISM/PDDNOS. The diagnosises do not fit the kids when you know a ton of them. It really depends on the doctor.

WHO MAY BE HURT by this "spectrum" diagnosis are the children with full blown, serious autism.

BUT - I do welcome it - As I imagine that kids' diagnosisies will read "ASD with this degree of disability in this sphere, this degree of, etc., etc."


Thanks Donna for telling me; I love to hear how others with aspergers are doing.

My son was however very sick a very long time, but then again he was not considered aspergers untill he was a sopomore in highschool.

And even then he was very sick.

just in the last few years has he stopped the unexplained fevers, but he still has gut problems and of course epilepsy.

I have a daughter too. She has been sick for years but she is brilliant - first in her class - now a nurse. I think because of my son I ignored her health problems. She had Kawasaki's when she was two years old, She always had a stomach virus (or so we thought) every other week and throwing up, with fevers. She had problems with depression that came out as anger toward me, and caused a great deal of problems. But she did good in school and had lots of friends. I am not saying you are doing this, but I am saying I did this. Two sick kids is just too much, and I ignored the health problems of one because the other was so sick!!!

We are so mistrustful of the medical and psy commmunity here (and for good reason) when they want to change something we try to figure out what is their motive to try to hide the fact that autism rates are rising.

But maybe they are doing this just because it is true. I know it is true. I do not see my son out socializing all he wants to do is play video games and line up plastic toys like a six year old. So he does okay in school (he passes college courses if he takes only six hours - he took ten one time and it almost killed us both). And is belly still gives him problems - even though we are on the Atkin's diet worse if we are not.


While I share the opinion with those who believe that autism spectrum diagnoses should not be included in the DSM but considered appropriate medical conditions, the DSM is going to continue to consider all ASDs as psychiatric conditions for some time to come no matter how many people disagree with the inclusion of ASDs as psychiatric disorders.

I find it important to keep the Asperger diagnosis separate from the autism diagnosis because it makes sense to me to work backwards and study the children and adults who have achieved full recovery and lost their original ASD diagnosis.

How many of the children through the use of biomedical interventions who have fully recovered and are no longer diagnosed as being on the autism spectrum ever had an original diagnosis of Asperger's?

I have read about many children who have fully recovered from autism through the use of biomedical interventions, but I don't recall reading about full recovery and losing an original diagnosis of Asperger's. In no way am I implying that it can't and isn't happening, but I personally don't recall any accounts of this. I'd be pleased if someone could direct me to some of these documented accounts. Obviously I have missed reading many articles over the last 12 years and haven't been able to read every autism newsletter and publication.

Are some of the parents who have had children lose their original Asperger diagnosis muddying the waters by referring to their child's original diagnosis as autism instead of Asperger's?

Many of us with children who have Asperger's are doing the same lab tests as those parents who have children with an autism diagnosis and doing many of the same biomed interventions, but I don't think many of us are seeing our Asperger kids actually lose their Asperger diagnosis - even though our children are medically improving and detoxing metals, etc.

The best case scenarios for children with Asperger's improving through biomed usually goes like this: medical issues have been improved and/or resolved, the schools have noticed an improvement with social interactions, maybe academic improvements are seen for those who had academic challenges previously, the child gets declassified from sped and then is put on a 504 plan, and the child still meets the diagnostic criteria for Asperger's no matter how many doctors the parents take their kids to.

Maybe we aren't hearing as many accounts of children losing their Asperger's diagnosis because Asperger's is usually diagnosed much later than autism, and unfortunately, many parents with Asperger kids aren't trying biomed because they "believe" their kids are doing well enough to "get by".

Kathleen Murphy

I always am striving to make this point:

Asperger's is not a mild form of anything. It is not inherently mild. It is not true that Aspies are less disabled than those with Autism. It may sometims be true, but not in my house.

Mild Asperger's may be a a lovely dream...(the perfect disablity...?) but Asperger's is not mild autism. It is a type of autism that may sometimes be harder to identify, even more invisible than Classical Autism. But it has been my expereience that there are those with Atism who can function better than those with Asperger's. Therefore, I don't think that Asperger's is High Functioning Autism. I think it is its own category under that big umbrella.


my other question is....... how does this benefit the insurance companies? you know it must if it was put through


I have Bipolar II-NOS, NOS because while I don't have deep depressions I do go into hypomania at the drop of a hat. I would not dream of saying that I have the same condition as those with Bipolar I, for which every day life is a struggle just to function, of whom 40% try to kill themselves and 20% succeed (suicide has never occurred to me). That's how I see this Aspergers/Autism thing, completely different ends of a continium and nobody should imply that they are the same condition.


Again......... How many have actually went after the insurance companies and doctors for being negligent in not treating medical issues. We proved our kid was sick with mercury poisoning. Then we told them they were negligent for not treating. They tried to prove he didn't have mercury poisoning. An entire committee was formed to prove our son wasn't sick. However, at the end of he day, they twice more proved that he did indeed have mercury poisoning. And so now..... they are paying for his chelation. Why isn't this happening more often. We must not sit back and let them tell us what they will or will not do for our kids. We must demand treatment after we prove they are sick and then stick them with a negligence suit. We didn't even need a lawyer. We did everything on our own. Just some carefully worded letters and a lot of controlled anger got us through it. please........ everyone try this.


Garbo I agree with you its all the same presents different ... we started off we autism and ended up with high end autism or aspergers or nerdy or shy... you label what you want I call if mercury poisoning in a genetically vulnerable kid and i'm pissed! family tree full of bipolar, depression, alcoholism but all functional... my son is fully functional now and he is one of the lucky ones but it took a hell of alot of work and money ..

Donna L.

My son with Asperger's absolutely has problems with anger, rage, over reacting, and being overly sensitive. We have had our fair share of truly horrible episodes in school and in the community. (He has, in fact, been homeschooled the past 2 years, because he could not control his anger/emotions in high school) Could they be on opposite ends of the same spectrum, you ask? Well, in my personal experience, no. I used to think so, before I had my son with severe autism. But now I see they are not the same thing at all. My son with 'autism' is sick. Medically, physically sick. My son with Asperger's is not. I guess the solution really lies in coming up with an agreed upon medical diagnosic term for this biological trainwreck we are now calling autism, and in washing our hands of this decades-old, inaccurate, and misleading mental diagnostic term.


Who cares what the mental diagnosis is......we need a medical diagnosis.

Mr Wonderful

Autism and Asperger's are listed in the DSM IV as pervasive developmental disorders (PDD), along with childhood disintegrative disorder, Rett's and good old PDD-NOS. Some people with Asperger's claim to be autistic, but I've never heard of one that claimed to have Rett's.

To say that having a DX of Asperger's means you are autistic is like saying that having the flu is the same as having emphysema because they are both respiratory disorders.

Hey, that's just my opinion, I could be wrong.


Teresa Conrick

I knew this was coming and it is just so wrong. We need to work on getting autism totally out of the DSM but meanwhile, including Asperger's, helps no one except CDC and those who want to muddy the more severe autism numbers. As Anne said, Cnn reports that Asperger's affects 2 in 10,000 so if you include it with autism, it can be said that the high autism numbers are from adding it in but in reality, aspergers has a lower prevalence -- why is that and someone should be jumping on that research [causation]-- versus autism which has a now 1:100 approx. prevalence and again causation is an issue, and adding the apples and oranges and calling them fruit helps no one.

Obviously this will make it more difficlut to see the environmental causes/numbers.

We need to collectively say 'no' to this.

from a past AoA post I did-

"So here we are in 2009 with a similar dilemma. We now have the "autism" word that Dr. Kanner felt was necessary but the paradigm has shifted, or should we say the "port of entry" has changed. Autism is no longer considered a true mental illness but a whole body medical illness often affecting both gut and brain. The behavioral manifestations, speech, social and stereotyped patterns are often traced to the true nature of this debilitating illness: inflammation, oxidative stress, and immune dysfunction yet Kanner, the American Psychiatric Association, and subsequently the DSM have "owned" autism since its 1930's appearance."


I was not offended. I really am confused with it all, and please do say more how else would we even know we are on the same page.

My son confuses me. We are talking about flapping hands, walking on tip toes, spaced out, no eye contact. And yet over the years we get speech!!!! Over years we get PDD-NOS over years we get tourettes, over the years it gets to be aspergers.

I really want conversation on this??? Because I am trying to figure it out.

And I am sorry if I came off sounding mad because I was not.


The DSM comes in very handy-- as toilet paper. It's by and for embedded interests, geared at selling drugs and useless, expensive gimmicks and nothing else. The DSM will never be legitimized or coopted for the good. I put zero stake in it. It's not a conspiracy per se, it's just that the DSM panel are all conflicted or deeply influenced by other conflicted authorities and ultimately lean in a certain direction, take their cues from industry.

On the one hand, lumping Asperger's in with ASD might seem like common sense even from our point of view: if autism is a range of poisoning, we all know that Asperger's is one manifestation of it.

But the DSM panel must have other, probably unconscious or unadmitted aims than this that somehow, some way, always end up being commercially viable to industry. The first thing that comes to mind is they're obscuring that autism has not just RISEN but that it's become statistically more severe every decade. Now the authorities can pretend to count "adult autism" cases without specifying severity and without distinguishing drug-induced dementia from Asperger's or either from severe "flappy" autism. It looks like a good way to start the hard work of padding the missing adult cohort until such time as it's not "missing" anymore in twenty, thirty years because the uneffected generations are long gone or all suffering from Alzheimers and can't remember.

I was getting all philosophical the other day about the art of naming diseases. It's called something like "nosology". The whole point of it is should be to name diseases for the cause as soon as cause is understood, or to name the disease for its discoverer and to have cause included in the up front description of the disease. As soon as Thalidomide was admitted to be a cause of a certain syndrome of birth defects, the casualties were known as "thalidomide babies".

But naming disease syndromes for what are just symptoms which could have a single cause or various causes is a neat way to put off the search for the causes and profit from useless treatments. That's what the DSM exists for-- to use disease to make money and to protect industries which cause disease. Now they've even moved on to finding ways to pathologize dissidents to corporate propaganda-- the following article says it all:


Ralph Toddre

To Benedetta....sorry if my comments offended you. They certainly were not made to do that! I very seldom comment on this Aspergers vs. Autism issue, and this is exactly why....don't worry, I will say no more!!


I agree that Asperger's and Autism belong to the same basket, but not a psychiatric one!


Here is the site of the working group on the dsm-5. http://www.dsm5.org/Pages/Default.aspx
A press release about what might be changed.
Autism sould be helped with good tools like brain scans that show someone has a diffrent brain not only how someone acts.


Donna I am curious, could your aspergers pass as normal????

Your Aspergers son has no issues of over reacting at times, being mad, getting angry, being over sensitive.

Why would not your two sons be on opposite ends of a spectrum???

On my last post misspelling - scene not seen and oh never mind.


Ralph What????

Some minor syptoms early on????


I witness my son have a stroke. He had to relearn to walk.

He has epilepsy.

He had the stomach problems.

Recurrant fevers brought on by a over reactive immune system or maybe an immune system that is reacting to a poison.

I have seen other aspies, making weird sounds in public and totally embarrassing.

You all are acting like aspergers is some type of geek thing. It is not!??
SO maybe the psych seen is also having this confusion and have finally starting to figure it out!!!

There is some confussion here, I thought it was me ---- maybe it is not me!

Donna L.

I have two sons, one with Asperger's and one with severe autism. The difference between them is like night and day. My son with Asperger's can excel in academics, email his buddies, argue about politics and religion, drive a car, and could marry and raise a family, if he so chooses. He is healthy as a horse, and the only physical pain he might experience is due to ordinary everyday injuries.
My son with autism has a distended abdomen that makes him look 9 months pregnant, cannot read or write, cannot tell us when he is hungry or thirsty or needs to go to the bathroom (despite 9 years of biomed and all the other therapies), has rage episodes that would terrify a serial killer, and bites the backs of his hands until they bleed.

To lump these two 'disorders' into one category is to me, laughable - or cry-able. It is as ridiculous as if, tomorrow, we woke up and science had declared that the grizzly bear now belongs to the same species as the hummingbird.


IMO, Aspergers should be an entirely different diagnosis. Saying my kid and a kid his age with aspergers are on different ends of the spectrum is a severe understatement. They aren't on the same spectrum if you ask me. They share not one common characteristic of autism. I really don't think it will help the general public to understand autism at all. It will create more confusion.

Kathy Blanco

This is a medical issue, why it's in the psych journals, DSM and the like is beyond me?


Ditto. "Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain, it's just changing diagnostic criteria!" Of course they have to change the criteria. If they didn't, they'd have no way to keep covering up the truth in the rising numbers. By including Aspergers diagnoses, the shrinks solidify their control over the treatment of the autism population as a whole; they are the most able to speak for themselves, to appear not impaired, and possibly to not need the intensive medical care that severely autistic children require. They will become the face of autism. I believe it IS all a connected spectrum along with ADD/ADHD, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and possibly Alzheimers, but NONE of it should be placed under the auspices of the psychiatric field. These are all related neurological/mitochondrial/immune dysfunction medical conditions.

Utah nSmith

I have many aspie traits
I have some autistic spectrum traits

For me what it comes down to.... the DSM is not the final word....they like drugs and profits makers.

what is comes down to is NT do not know...what it is like to be AT.

I have a brain anomaly or more than one.
My brain or view is different. My brain maps different. I am quite sure some of it is inherited... I am sure there are many factors that make me who and what I am.

For those NTs (neuro typicals) they do not know unless open and educated who we are.

Their world is a mess....so they prefer their own kind who wont blame them....

If you have a brain anomaly - be strong and have courage - fight inner discouragement - deal with the pain of rejection in a world full of those with less character...
Respect your self and do some good for yourself and others who will appreciate your giving and help. Do not tolerate dis-respect.

Do not disrespect yourself or tolerate it from others. Be strong and of the highest character.


Theodore Van Oosbree

The DSM has always been hocus-pocus, cookbook diagnosis. Autism is clearly not just a psychiatric problem and should be dealt with medically. DSM classifications do not further medical treatment for autistics (aside from encouraging the use of anti-psychotics - a bad idea!).


Is anyone who has trouble walking classified as a high functioning paraplegic with a "mobility spectrum disorder"? Umbrella terms seem to be a convenience, and buckets like these may not be for the benefit of the patient, IMHO - regardless of which end of the "spectrum" you end up on. Broader categories can become an even greater obfuscation (or worse, more of an excuse) in terms of (not) investigating / identifying root cause and appropriate course of action, on an individual basis.

Just my 2c...

Kelli Ann Davis and EPI 101

Epi 101:

When "counting" and "comparing" numbers over a time period, think "Apples to Apples"....(insert the collective "DUH" factor here)

Changing the "game" (or in this case the "fruit salad") in the middle of crunching numbers and reporting the results (albeit "14-years-behind-the-power-curve-results")does NOTHING except "muddle the waters" and deflect from the TRUE bottom line:

THERE CAN BE NO GENETIC EPIDEMIC...hence, thus, therefore Watson, it's environmentally induced which means (insert another collective "DUH" factor here) WE NEED TO CHECK OUT ENVIRONMENTAL TRIGGERS....

Ralph Toddre

In the world of psychiatry, Aspergers Syndrome and Autism were "discovered" about the same time. Besides some early on symptoms that are similiar, that is about the only thing that links them. They should not be put together under the ASD umbrella. The vast majority of Aspergers advocacy groups that I have dealt with, do not want to be classified as Autism. They don't want a cure, and and get very angry with Autism groups that say they do. Autism is NO DOUBT a medical condition, while Aspergers is a syndrome that may not be medical. Over the years I have found that Aspergers people do not have anywhere near the number of medical problems that individuals with Autism do. There are exceptions, I'm sure, but for the most part they are not the same. For one....there is no such thing as Regressive Aspergers....there is Regressive Autism, which indicates the strong possibility of an environmental, medical connection to Autism. Like I said, besides some minor early on symptoms, they are not the same. The needs of the two are very different, and if Aspergers is just classified as Autism, they may not recieve the services that they need, and vice versa!


I'm not sure if it's a good thing for the reasons that everyone mentioned (muddying the waters). I do think it's a good time to point out very publicly that if so many kids are recovering be chelation and bio med then how is it not flat out poisoning??


Sounds like a way to deflect the true increase in autism spectrum disorders over the past 2 decades. We'll be right back the the "it's just better diagnosis" or "due to the reclassification of ASD, it just appears the rates have gone up, when, in fact, nothing has changed" BS. Why is it still classified as a mental disorder anyway? By keeping it listed as a "mental disability", that pretty much ensures that insurance isn't going to cover proper medical treatments these kids so desperately need.


I find it ironic that the Aspies claiming "no cures!" equated their ASD with the more severe forms for which improvements to the lives of those effected can be made.

Now they wanna distance themselves?


The whole psy stuff is like taking a hammer to a bunch of black walnuts and studying how each and every one of them shattered. Some pieces fly off five feet or so, some you have to hammer some more to get the nut meat out, some the nut meat is totally crushed.

I can not even see why this is even important????? Why does it matter. I have read all the other articles that go along with this and I still don't get it. Some body help me out here.

I have a 23 year old that is getting no help what so ever frome anyone. We have gone through relearning to walk,fine motor skills ruined, not talking - then to talking but still not a full grasp of language, seizures, tourettes, lining up stuff, obsessive, angry, sensitive hurt feelings ---- In these articles really like this DYSLCALCULIA - as opposed to dyslextic - trouble with math - did not know that was the name but that be the trouble my son is having - yet the psych says with his spacial skills he could be an architec.

May intersession is coming up and I am forcing him (making him upset) but I am putting him in an EMT class 101 and I am putting him in the dorm for four weeks.
We will see if he sinks or swims (I will be close by to pull him out incase he is sinking)

Wish me luck getting him to at least try it.


No child should ever receive a neurological label unless they have first been shown to have absolutely no medical conditions! ASD's are sypmtoms not disorders.
I still don't understand why these doctors are not being sued for negligence in failing to diagnose medical conditions.
We proved our kid had mercury toxicity and then told our HMO they were negligent for not treating him. The HMO tried to prove our son was not mercury toxic and in doing so, they proved twice that he was and now they are paying for chelation. All parents need to prove their child is sick and then sue for negligence. It is the only way this is going to stop.

Craig Willoughby

Aspergers should be completely excluded from the spectrum in my opinion. As OAD said, the needs of a child with Aspergers are completely different than those of a child with Autistic Disorder.

Please don't take it that I am knocking those with Aspergers. I just feel that Autistic Disorder and Aspergers shouldn't be included in the same diagnostic classification of Autism.


Interesting that CDD is now being included - someone needs to tell the GMC.

Anne McElroy Dachel

I've been on local TV talking about autism on a couple of occasions. They've wanted my son on with me. I'd never allow it. I can't imagine a greater disservice to autistic children and their parents for MY SON WITH ASPERGER'S to represent autism. He drives, is very capable on the computer, goes shopping by himself and has his cell phone doing all kinds of things. What would it tell the public if John were shown as "someone with autism"?

If they wanted to report on Asperger's, I'd be happy to have him interviewed. Making Asperger's part of autism officially does nothing to help with anything. My worry is that it will be used as one more red herring to hid the disaster happening right before our eyes. I can just imagine what we'll read when the next autism rate increase is announced:
"The autism numbers seem to be rising, but officials aren't sure if it represents a true increase or if it's merely the result of including those children with Asperger's Syndrome under the term autism spectrum disorder ."

Anne Dachel


As I commented a couple of days ago, ALL autism spectrum disorders need to be moved out of the DSM. ASDs need to recognized as multi-system, multi-factorial *medical* disorders.


As all of us old timers can attest, the psychiatric profession has a long and sorry track record (and a lot to apologize for) in their quest to provide any meaningful care for kids or adults with autism. They really are pathetic. This move, criticised by both "Aspies" as well as parents and caregivers for individuals with autism subtypes that manifest from Asperger's with sharp differentiation, is really just another unfortunate link in their chain of irrelevance.

Harry H.

Our son is severly autistic. To include him in with the "aspies" is a profound insult. The psychiatrists need to have their heads examined.


I prefer the separation. Though my son has moderate Autism, I don't like when people poo poo Aspergers and imply it is easy. It is not. Aspergers folks have more expected of them in terms of functioning in the world and some of those skills do not come naturally. Plus, they get less sympathy from the public on their kids behavioral issues. With that said, children with Classic Autism struggle with issues those with Aspergers will never face: an inability to talk, incontinence, more liklihood of institutionalization after their parents are gone, if not before then. Therefore, these are essential two related, though distinct conditions and should be diagnosed as such.

Of course I am concerned that NDers will see this as more of a license to speak for my child, who is nothing like them, than they already do....and the govt. will let them influence policy that affects my, but not them, on the presumption that they have "Autism" like my son. It is a disaster.


ASD doesn't belong in the DSM at all!!!


It's absolutely ludicrous. The treatment and needs of someone with Aspergers are completely different from those of someone with Autism. It's clearly just muddying the waters.


"ounds like we need a new way to explain an increased autism rate. Wait, let's change the DSM to be more inclusive and then we spin...spin...spin!!!!!!!!!"

Is it not perfectly clear that that is indeed the case?


I guess I should not read and comment on this blog before my morning coffee! I read a different article last and completely misunderstood the propsoed changes. I do NOT agree with the proposed changes, and as my previous comment shows, I think they diagnosis needs even further separation.

Sorry for the confusing response!

Robin Nemeth

And I agree with Jules. It's time to stop classifying ASDs as mental disorders.


Sounds like we need a new way to explain an increased autism rate. Wait, let's change the DSM to be more inclusive and then we spin...spin...spin!!!!!!!!!


I personally like the separation because I think it's important to track and report the rise in both Aspergers and more severe forms of autism. I think the media downplays the rise in severe cases, and I think we'd get more of the public's attention if they understood that the rise is across the entire spectrum.

I also think the separation could help better direct research efforts. It's very plausible that the causes may be link to the manifistation of the ASD disorder. In other words, will research eventually reveal one set of causes for Aspergers and another set for austims or PDD NOS? I've wondered if grouping all ASD cases together may be confusing or diluting the correlation results in some studies.

Lastly, I think the separation may help us better understand why certain treatments are effective in helping some ASD children and not others. I am defnitely not a one-size fits all proponent. For example, my child has severe autism and is benefiting greatly by ABA therapy. I have friends with Aspergers children who are fierce believers in Floortime. It's not that either one of us is wrong, but you have to fit the treatments to the symptoms.

I hope whatever the final decision, that we as an austism community support it and not allow it to divide us.


None of these are "mental" illnesses !!

Robin Nemeth

Perhaps they are thinking that this will further divide the autism community. Perhaps they are thinking that it will further muddy up the numbers. Perhaps they are thinking about all of the people who will jump on the "oh autism isn't a disability, it is just a bunch of children whose parents spoiled them!" bandwagon.

Mostly what I am thinking is 'why would I want to waste any time at all wondering about what these pshrinks are doing?'

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