Please Share Your DSM-5 Experiences

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Share Your Experience with DSM-5 Evaluation for Autism

About DSM-5

May 2013 brought the long-anticipated publication of the 5th edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5). Clinicians use the DSM to diagnose mental health conditions including autism. (For more background, see Autism Speaks “DSM-5 News and Updates.”)

The DSM-5 brings three major changes in the way doctors and therapists diagnose ASD in the United States:

  1. The former subtypes of autism – including autistic disorder, Asperger syndrome and PDD-NOS – are now folded into one broad category of autism spectrum disorder (ASD).
  2. Rather than three categories of ASD symptoms (social difficulties, communication impairments and repetitive/restricted behaviors), there are now two – social-communication impairment and repetitive/restricted behaviors.
  3. Children with social-communication impairments who don’t have two or more types of repetitive/restricted behavior receive the new diagnosis of social communication disorder (SCD).

Last year, the results of the first DSM-5 studies suggested that around 95 percent of those who received an ASD diagnosis using the old DSM-IV criteria would still receive an ASD diagnosis with the DSM-5. Autism Speaks is funding additional studies to clarify these preliminary results. (Learn more about these studies.)

At the same time, Autism Speaks is committed to ensuring that all who need autism-related treatment and services continue to receive them.