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Does DSM-V Mean Fewer Diagnoses?

QuestionBy Anne Dachel

At a time when parents are seeing a lottery for autism services in UT and other states and when parents are faced with co-pays for services in PA, experts are now saying that kids won’t be losing their diagnoses with the DSM 5 changes.

Two frequently cited experts are Catherine Lord and Fred Volkmar.

In April, 2012, Dr. Catherine Lord (director of the Center for Autism and the Developing Brain at N.Y.-Presbyterian Hospital and its affiliated medical schools, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons and Weill Cornell Medical College) was STILL saying that all the autism everywhere might just be “better detection.”


Catherine Lord: “Does the new figure indicate that we are seeing an epidemic of autism, as some have speculated?

“At this point, it’s not clear.

“One possibility is that we are seeing the result of better detection rather than a real surge in autism.”

Dr. Fred Volkmar believes that if anything is behind the increase in autism, it’s “older dads.”


Fred Volkmar: “This study provides some of the first solid scientific evidence for a true increase in the condition” of autism, said Dr. Fred R. Volkmar, director of the Child Study Center at the Yale School of Medicine, who was not involved in the research. “It is extremely well done and the sample meticulously characterized.”

Volkmar and Lord have been in the NY Times endlessly telling us to calm down, autism isn’t an epidemic and denying vaccines are a factor. It’s interesting that in this piece Lord assured us that almost all kids with autism will keep their diagnosis and Volkmar (at the end of the story) cautions that in the real world, that’s not necessarily true.   So nice that the Times included Volkmar's warning AT THE END OF THE STORY.

Oct 2, 2012 NY Times: Report Sees Less Impact in New Autism Definition HERE

Proposed changes to the official diagnosis of autism will not reduce the proportion of children found to have it as steeply as many have feared, scientists reported on Tuesday, in an analysis that contradicts several previous studies.

Earlier research had estimated that 45 percent or more of children currently on the “autism spectrum” would not qualify under a new definition now being refined by psychiatric researchers — a finding that generated widespread anxiety among parents who rely on state-financed services for their children. The new report, posted online Tuesday by The American Journal of Psychiatry, concluded that the number who would be excluded is closer to 10 percent….

“What I would say to families worried about the new criteria is that they’re more open-ended than the old ones,” said Catherine Lord, the senior researcher on the study. “So it’s very important to find a clinician who understands them, and who is not rushed when making a diagnosis.”…

The discrepancy between Dr. Lord’s findings and earlier ones may be rooted in the quality of data available, said Dr. Fred Volkmar, director of the Child Study Center at Yale University School of Medicine and senior author of a widely reported study presented early this year, with starkly different results.

“What they report is impressive in scope and magnitude, but it is using meticulously characterized cases with what are probably very experienced clinicians,” Dr. Volkmar said. “The problem is one of moving this to the real world outside of academic centers” where the art of diagnosing varies widely.

This is what the Times is good at.

Don’t worry, there’s no autism epidemic.

Don’t worry, there’s no link to vaccines.

Don’t worry, your child won’t lose their diagnosis.

Don’t worry, there’ll be a place for your adult child with autism—-Oops, that’s the really big lie they haven’t tried yet.

(There’s no place for comments on this Times story.)

Anne Dachel is Media Editor for Age of Autism. Visit her site at AnneDachel.com




John Fryer

Elizabeth your own family have been most unlucky and too many vaccines too soon are bad.

I would advise high vitamin levels naturally obtained and make do always with one vaccine only for each ill and never repeat vaccines.

But Australia does have high amounts of GMO food and I would also consider looking at avoiding GMO food for any baby certainly until age of three years when you would know if your child was ok.

Even if vaccines are part ly the cause, GMO food is not helping.

See the Seralini controversy. He has proven kidney and liver harm from GMO food only denied by blatant liars. GMO food is sponging up round up herbicide which we then eat and have to deal with. Children have the hardest job at this task.

John Fryer

Fred Volkmar can be seen here:


Overview of Autism

He is most certainly not out of touch but is certainly PC and hence gets his money.

It would be interesting to hear his views in his retirement when there is no Wakefield effect likely to arrive upon your head.

GMOs and aspartame certainly do not help the situation for autism children.

In fact there is the clue as there are enzymes missing in autism children so they cannot handle certain toxins as well as the rest of us.

So old foods or food even eaten today can make things worse.

Woodrow Monte cites methyl alcohol as a partner in crime with mercury. And of course I agree.

Do remember even when we do not agree with all that Fred says he is a mine of information. Take what he says on things you disagree with as things you differ with him. But he certainly does put up vaccines and mercury as causes even if just to PC dismiss them.

No mention of the methyl alcohol connection sadly.

But he does metnion Brick County but says nothing of this wisely as this is a clear cover up of harm which he sort of excuses by his own anecdote. Its funny he says.


.........Dr. Fred Volkmar believes that if anything is behind the increase in autism, it’s “older dads.”......"

....so older father's are more likely to have Autistic children....!"

My grandfather was 68 years old when he fathered my aunty (she was his eighth and last child). None of my mum's seven sisters have Autism and none of my 14 cousins have children with Autism.

My twin sister's children do not have Autism (fully vaccinated).

My first born does not have Autism, but my second has severe autism and at the age of 10yrs is still non-verbal (lost language around 2 yrs old).

My husband's dad is 1 of 11 children all of which do not have Autism and none of his siblings offspring (too many to count) have children with Autism.

And Yet! My father-in-law worked with many chemicals over the years and has four son's, all of whom do not have Autism.

Yet! One son has 2 boy's both ASD (fully vaccinated), the other son has 2 boy's both ASD (fully vaccinated), the other son has one boy (ASD & fully vaccinated) and one girl (health concerns & partially vaccinated) and the other son (my hubby) has one girl (healthy and fully vaccinated)and one son (vaccine injured and not vaccinated after 12 mth MMR).


Dr Fred Volkmar is quite welcomed to come to Australia and do a study on my family. There is my invitation!

Elizabeth Gillespie

Carter's Daddy

Yet more territory marking from the Psych biz. They want the authority over all things autistic yet refuse to bother learning anything about it. I feel so insulted every time so called experts(let alone people on the street) tell me things about autism. My wife could talk circles around every one of them on autism. They are way out of their depth.

Jan Miller

In Tennessee, it seems that if you had any spectrum diagnosis before 2013, you'll be covered under the new umbrella.

Each state has it's own special definition of autism and states determine services or treatments that apply to the definition. A state can even disregard the DSM-5 altogether.

Since IDEA now recognizes ADHD, and any other medical issue that impedes learning, as a disability, the Autism diagnosis will not be needed as frequently to assure students gain services and schools receive IDEA federal funds. 

The problem with DSM-5 is that it does not define autism beyond appearance of behaviors. It serves little purpose. It also thwarts meaningful treatments by ignoring the medical causes for autistic behaviors.

Hopefully, with enough awareness, parents will not seek a psychiatrist for help when their child is suffering from the pain of toxins, allergens, infections, inflammation, etc. Hopefully, doctors will become aware of the pain children are suffering, and treat the pain instead of diagnosing the pain as a mental disorder. Right?

Raymond Gallup


"lies , damned lies , and then there are vaccines ."

Posted by: Eugene Nicks | October 04, 2012 at 06:07 AM

Eugene, You are so right!!!!

Dr. Jim Oleske and Dr. Keith Ablow are so right, too. See below......

Good to hear from you and I appreciate that you are speaking for others, as your son's diagnosis was never in question. Families and clinicians need to unite to call for a pause and reconsideration when sweeping changes are made to guidelines by only a small number of individuals -no matter how intelligent- and without inclusion of families experiencing a serious condition in their children. You and your families tireless efforts are an inspiration.

James M. Oleske, MD, MPH
François-Xavier Bagnoud Professor of Pediatrics
Director, Division of Pediatrics Allergy, Immunology & Infectious Diseases
Department of Pediatrics, New Jersey Medical School, Newark, New Jersey

Could new psychiatric guidelines change the standards for autism diagnosis?

By Dr. Keith Ablow
Published October 02, 2012
[email protected]

See article by Dr. Ablow per........


Bob Moffitt

"Dr. Fred Volkmar believes that if anything is behind the increase in autism, it’s “older dads.”

The truly sad observation about Yale's Dr. Fred Volkmar is the fact that he has been the recipient of millions of scarce autism research dollars over the past decade .. and .. as yet to produce a single, viable contribution to the "cause or prevention" of autism. Fred's "older dads" is just the latest evidence the man is truly out of touch with the real world.

Tried to think of a fictional character that would represent the sum total of Volkmar's autism research efforts .. and .. the only character I can think of is Tom Hanks friend "Wilson" in the movie Castaway. "Wilson" was the name of the sporting company that made the volley-ball that washed ashore Hank's island .. and .. became Tom's imaginary "friend" whom Tom spent hours in a totally unreal .. oneway conversation.

In my humble opinion, Wilson's contribution to lessen Tom's loneliness proved far more effective .. than Volkmar's "older dad" theory will prove as a prevention for what is causing the ever rising increase in autism.

Eugene Nicks

lies , damned lies , and then there are vaccines .

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