Losing the Aspergers/Autism explination?

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androbot01
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05 Jan 2015, 10:20 am

kraftiekortie wrote:
You could be autistic all the time--but you might not react autistically all the time.


So one's reaction may be perceived as neurotypical even if it isn't? That makes sense.



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05 Jan 2015, 10:27 am

Yes...that could happen.



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05 Jan 2015, 6:55 pm

We are all the same species and our differences grow much smaller from that perspective.



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05 Jan 2015, 7:19 pm

something_ wrote:
Having said that, as someone who was diagnosed last year with ASD (my assessors in the UK said the the ICD is going the same way so they have stopped diagnosing aspergers)


Aye, same here, but some UK people still seem to be getting the Asperger's diagnosis. Seems to vary from clinic to clinic, as do the assessment procedures.

I find Autism Spectrum Disorder a bit of a mouthful to say, but apart from that I couldn't care less whether it's ASD or Asperger's. They're the same thing: I don't have any emotional attachment to the Asperger's label.



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06 Jan 2015, 9:19 pm

ASPartOfMe wrote:
I guess this is a natural reaction from going decades without an explanation, getting one, then having it immediately taken away by the DSM 5.


The DSM is, and always has been, overrated in its importance. A person will never be transformed into someone they are not (ex. from having AS to being autistic) simply because a group of well-connected and influential psychologists have decreed that Asperger's Syndrome no longer exists.

I myself don't believe that Asperger's Syndrome is anything at all like autism, because there are far more differences than there are similarities, and so the two should not be conflated. The silly people who give us the various versions of the DSM seem to disagree, but I wonder how many of them even personally know anyone who is either autistic or has AS. From what I have seen of their 'definitions' I wouldn't bet on it.



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07 Jan 2015, 12:57 am

Lintar wrote:
The DSM is, and always has been, overrated in its importance. A person will never be transformed into someone they are not (ex. from having AS to being autistic) simply because a group of well-connected and influential psychologists have decreed that Asperger's Syndrome no longer exists.

I myself don't believe that Asperger's Syndrome is anything at all like autism, because there are far more differences than there are similarities, and so the two should not be conflated. The silly people who give us the various versions of the DSM seem to disagree, but I wonder how many of them even personally know anyone who is either autistic or has AS. From what I have seen of their 'definitions' I wouldn't bet on it.

Using that logic, you could argue that AS never existed at all though, since "a group of well-connected and influential psychologists" are the very same ones who had to decree it to be a disorder in the first place.

The fact is that diagnostically speaking, AS/autism have always been the same, hence the merger. I don't see any differences between people diagnosed with the two disorders. May I ask which ones you're aware of? (It's a topic I'm studying for school, so it'd be good information for me to learn.)

The DSM is by no means perfect (I agree that people tend to take the DSM to mean as if what's written today will be the truth tomorrow if you know what I mean), but for now, it's all we've got. And while you may disagree, the psychologists and psychiatrists that work with and diagnose autism are as close to "experts" as we're going to get. So I wouldn't be against them if I were you. These are the people who help determine the fate of your diagnosis.


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07 Jan 2015, 6:58 am

Jezebel wrote:
Lintar wrote:
The DSM is, and always has been, overrated in its importance. A person will never be transformed into someone they are not (ex. from having AS to being autistic) simply because a group of well-connected and influential psychologists have decreed that Asperger's Syndrome no longer exists.

I myself don't believe that Asperger's Syndrome is anything at all like autism, because there are far more differences than there are similarities, and so the two should not be conflated. The silly people who give us the various versions of the DSM seem to disagree, but I wonder how many of them even personally know anyone who is either autistic or has AS. From what I have seen of their 'definitions' I wouldn't bet on it.

Using that logic, you could argue that AS never existed at all though, since "a group of well-connected and influential psychologists" are the very same ones who had to decree it to be a disorder in the first place.

The fact is that diagnostically speaking, AS/autism have always been the same, hence the merger. I don't see any differences between people diagnosed with the two disorders. May I ask which ones you're aware of? (It's a topic I'm studying for school, so it'd be good information for me to learn.)

The DSM is by no means perfect (I agree that people tend to take the DSM to mean as if what's written today will be the truth tomorrow if you know what I mean), but for now, it's all we've got. And while you may disagree, the psychologists and psychiatrists that work with and diagnose autism are as close to "experts" as we're going to get. So I wouldn't be against them if I were you. These are the people who help determine the fate of your diagnosis.


I'll have to give you a condensed version of my reply because new system ate up 1/2 hour of work replying to you. But the quick reply is that while you should respect the experts work and take what they say seriously, the people who have the condition especially if the condition is neurological are experts in their own way. If you need benefits it is probably wise to go along with the "expert" diagnosis to receive them but that does not mean accepting it. The DSM 5 was fundamentally flawed in not accepting subcategories for Autism. Nobody would suggest subsuming all cancer subcategories based on severity or telling people that live in Paris they should accept only saying you are European. One reason this was done in Autism because the "experts" did not understood or opposed the unusually very positive reaction to a diagnoses even to the pointy of making it an identity. The positive reactions meant the diagnosis was a good treatment which is what psychology should be doing. If gays accepted that the "experts" were all they had and that they should not be against them, LBGT people would still be probably still be pathologized in the DSM


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07 Jan 2015, 4:19 pm

I do tend to be quite wordy, so I apologize in advance.

ASPartOfMe wrote:
I'll have to give you a condensed version of my reply because new system ate up 1/2 hour of work replying to you. But the quick reply is that while you should respect the experts work and take what they say seriously, the people who have the condition especially if the condition is neurological are experts in their own way. If you need benefits it is probably wise to go along with the "expert" diagnosis to receive them but that does not mean accepting it. The DSM 5 was fundamentally flawed in not accepting subcategories for Autism. Nobody would suggest subsuming all cancer subcategories based on severity or telling people that live in Paris they should accept only saying you are European. One reason this was done in Autism because the "experts" did not understood or opposed the unusually very positive reaction to a diagnoses even to the pointy of making it an identity. The positive reactions meant the diagnosis was a good treatment which is what psychology should be doing. If gays accepted that the "experts" were all they had and that they should not be against them, LBGT people would still be probably still be pathologized in the DSM


It's your opinion that it's flawed, but from what I've read in the many threads on here about the DSM-IV/DSM-5 differences, most people actually seem to prefer ASD because it got rid of the subtypes - some of which never really existed in an independent manner in the first place (i.e, Aspergers). I don't really know what you mean about accepting the diagnosis though, unless you're referring to someone disagreeing with the ASD diagnosis and Aspergers being the same as autism? In that case, I totally agree that you don't have to accept any diagnosis, but that's not what the other poster conveyed to me, mainly because of the adjectives they used to describe these professionals. They gave off the impression of actually being against those professionals who, again, are experts. While you can disagree with them, it just doesn't make sense in my opinion to actually seem to be against them and their ability to diagnose the condition. Because yet again, if you want to argue that these professionals can't diagnose the condition, you could also argue that autism never existed and they mistakenly included it in the DSM. Obviously professionals make mistakes too - they're not perfect - but they are considered professionals for a reason, so they're likely to know more about the condition than you do (in this case, you is referring to anyone who is not a professional).

And actually, that's not why the subcategories were taken away. It had more to do with the fact that there was no proof that the disorders were different and also that the diagnoses were being given wrongly. I don't think the criteria (for all of the disorders) was clear enough for some professionals to be able to make a distinction; for others, maybe they just diagnosed what they felt it was. Who knows? But the point is that people were often diagnosed incorrectly (by the DSM's criteria at least), but yet the diagnosis would fit them. For example, people were diagnosed with Aspergers sometimes, yet they might've had a speech delay, which would disqualify them for the Aspergers diagnosis. And when it came to HFA, we all know it was hard to find differences between the two disorders. I think most of the differences people actually associated with low-moderate autistic disorder - for example, lower IQ and worse overall severity of symptoms - had more to do with intellectual disability, SPD, and other comorbidities than the disorder itself. These comorbidities could be responsible for the severity of the person's autism. It might also have something to do with Aspergers being used derogatorily or people coming to use the term incorrectly (like how some people came to assume that all socially awkward children were being diagnosed with it, which obviously isn't true), though it still has more to do with the confusion between the diagnoses. (Since you seem to agree with Lintar, and I asked them this question, I'll ask you as well: what differences do you see between people with the two disorders? I'm genuinely interested in what differences (some) autistic people see versus the ones professionals (and other autistic people who agree with them) see.

The schizophrenia subtypes were also removed with the DSM-5 and for the same reason: the different labels had become redundant and the subtypes were not able to sufficiently describe the spectrum of symptoms displayed by schizophrenic individuals. (Here's another link you can check out as well. One important thing you should take note of is this sentence: "Subtypes often are not stable over time. The suggestion that subtypes capture state rather than trait pathology limits the usefulness of traditional subtypes." The same thing happened with the autistic disorder and aspergers diagnoses. For example, some have said that they were originally diagnosed with autistic disorder but later rediagnosed as having aspergers.) In my opinion, the only mistake made was including the subtypes of autism in the first place. It should've been treated and labeled as a spectrum disorder from the beginning. Having the separate subtypes seems to have made people way too attached to the diagnostic label. You mentioned it being an "identity", but I don't understand why someone would rely on a label that much. I have no problem with the term Aspergers still being used, because I still use it too, but it's not like I plan to use it forever because it became my "identity." It's easier to be used now, but in the future, people will likely just say "I have ASD."

Your analogies don't work in this case because we're dealing with two completely different situations (and not to mention that the ASD diagnosis does not "subsume the subtypes based on severity" - I don't really understand what you mean with this comment). Different types of cancer have been identified and in a way that makes the diagnosis unmistakeable - we know what pancreatic cancer looks like and we know that it does not present the same way as say, lung cancer does. But that's not to say that misdiagnoses aren't made, just that cancer symptoms don't overlap the way autistic disorder and Aspergers symptoms did. (Now if there were fewer types of cancer and a majority, if not all, of the symptoms overlapped in a way that made them indistinguishable, then the analogy would work.) So in this case, changes have to be made when it's been proven that the current diagnostic criteria simply isn't working - and for many, it wasn't. When professionals can't determine a difference between diagnoses, then you know something's wrong and that it's time for the diagnoses to be updated. The point of these changes is not only to help professional diagnose the disorder correctly, but to also not separate people based on redundant terms, when autism is a spectrum, so the diagnosis should be treated as such, which means having one diagnosis and then allowing specifiers for specifics. On the topic of autism being a spectrum though: I'm amazed that people tend to get upset over "functioning labels" (high functioning, moderately functioning, and low functioning) because they claim they separate individuals (based on things like intelligence and severity of symptoms) and are redundant because it's a spectrum, yet not at the fact that people separate themselves by using terms like aspie and autie (which also separate people based on intelligence and severity of symptoms since those with aspergers are stereotypically defined as being highly intelligent). I personally don't mind "functioning labels" or the aforementioned terms, but some people do, so I don't understand why they don't see how they're being hypocritical.

People with autism are not experts in autism unless they're trained in psychology, psychiatry, or abnormal child development (or something similar the way developmental pediatricians and child neurologists are) and then also trained in autism though. While I think an autistic person may be able to identify autistic traits in other people (it seems like a good amount of people on here can do that), that doesn't make them experts on autism. (The same way just being a psychologist or psychiatrist doesn't make you an expert on autism - it takes actually training to understand it because as we all know, it's very complex. It gives you first-hand knowledge and experience - is this what you meant when you said "experts in their own way"? - but that still doesn't equate to being an expert on the topic.) I've seen many many misconceptions about psychology and psychiatry related to autism being spread on here because of people not having a background in these fields. An expert is trained in the ability to diagnose ASDs, whereas most people with the condition are not. Experts are also less likely to be biased as well, because I see that a lot around here.

I actually keep seeing homosexuality previously being in the DSM being used as anaology as if that makes the DSM look less credible or something. I don't get it though? It was added back in the DSM-I, which was published in 1952, when socially speaking, times were obviously different - so how is that even relevant to today's DSM? It was removed in the 70s, when activism for these things (gay rights, women's rights, etc...) was a big deal, especially because the civil rights movement had just ended on a positive note. But yet again, this is another analogy that really doesn't work in this case. Homosexuality was able to be "proven" (for lack of a better word) to not be a disorder. With autism, on the other hand, we know it's a disorder, and as I said before, we know that the differences displayed between individuals diagnosed with Aspergers and Autistic Disorder were not significant enough for them to be considered separate diagnoses (and yet again, the same thing applied to the schizophrenia subtypes as well). Heck, some people even argue GID/gender dysphoria shouldn't be listed in the DSM either, but it really has to be at this point.

People really do have to consider the social context of the times before they try to compare something like that though. For example, how would it look if every single minority always (and I mean always) brought up the "flaw" in the previous beliefs that many white Americans held about them being superior to minorities? What if minorities used (or attempted to use) the fact that their ancestors were mistreated by white Americans against white Americans and them making decisions for this country? The argument could be that since many white Americans held these beliefs in the past, many could still feel the same way but be hiding it, and that they therefore cannot be trusted to make decisions concerning a "melting pot" country. I'll admit to that being an extreme analogy, so I hope it gets the point across about why these types of analogies generally don't work because in a way, they're almost prejudiced. You can't blame those currently in charge for the mistakes made in the past and you can't try to use those mistakes against those currently in charge either, because they had nothing to do with that. Yet again, it largely depends on the social context.

Like I said before, I don't think the DSM is perfect so don't think I'm saying that. In reality, nothing human made is likely to be "perfect" anyway.


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something_
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07 Jan 2015, 5:13 pm

I can see both sides of this I think, I agree that nothing has really changed with DSM-V it is just clarifying that based on current understanding there is no significant difference between HFA and Aspergers (and believe it may have had something to do with some places only providing services for those with autism and not aspergers?).

But do also think they overlooked what 'Aspergers' means to those diagnosed, I also went decades not knowing and was massively relieved and helped to discover aspergers. I don't think I would get the same sense of belonging from the term ASD, as it is a broader term and the experiences and struggles of those at different parts of the spectrum will be very different. I just don't think in the future people will become as attached to the term 'ASD Severity Level 1' or whatever the official terms is, as they have aspergers. Ultimately it is not that important, if the DSM-V leads to more people getting support then it is a good thing, it is a shame that they couldnt keep the term, merged AS and HFA together as 'ASD1-Aspergers' or something.



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07 Jan 2015, 8:23 pm

Jezebel wrote:
Lintar wrote:
The DSM is, and always has been, overrated in its importance. A person will never be transformed into someone they are not (ex. from having AS to being autistic) simply because a group of well-connected and influential psychologists have decreed that Asperger's Syndrome no longer exists.

I myself don't believe that Asperger's Syndrome is anything at all like autism, because there are far more differences than there are similarities, and so the two should not be conflated. The silly people who give us the various versions of the DSM seem to disagree, but I wonder how many of them even personally know anyone who is either autistic or has AS. From what I have seen of their 'definitions' I wouldn't bet on it.

Using that logic, you could argue that AS never existed at all though, since "a group of well-connected and influential psychologists" are the very same ones who had to decree it to be a disorder in the first place.

The fact is that diagnostically speaking, AS/autism have always been the same, hence the merger. I don't see any differences between people diagnosed with the two disorders. May I ask which ones you're aware of? (It's a topic I'm studying for school, so it'd be good information for me to learn.)

The DSM is by no means perfect (I agree that people tend to take the DSM to mean as if what's written today will be the truth tomorrow if you know what I mean), but for now, it's all we've got. And while you may disagree, the psychologists and psychiatrists that work with and diagnose autism are as close to "experts" as we're going to get. So I wouldn't be against them if I were you. These are the people who help determine the fate of your diagnosis.


In response to your main objection, that going by my logic it should never have existed in the first place, I have to say that, yes, prior to Dr. Hans Asperger it actually did exist, but the condition had not been defined or recognised for what it was. He was the first to do so, and tried to get people to understand why certain people behaved the way that they did. Autism isn't the same as A.S. for a number of reasons, one of those reasons being verbal ability. Autistics are almost without exception extremely reluctant, or unable, to communicate verbally, with anyone, but someone with A.S. will babble on and on about whatever it is that interests them, to whomever may be within hearing distance. Autistics are also, far more often than not, unable to look after themselves properly, and need full-time carers, and this is due to the fact that one of the defining characteristics of autism is intellectual disability. Those with A.S., on the other hand, generally have intelligence that is way above average and, provided they are sufficiently dedicated to that which forms their core interest/hobby/obsession will almost certainly excel at it. If they are also given encouragement and support, they will also be quite capable of becoming successful within their chosen field.

Secondly, I have to admit to having little to no respect for anyone who self-identifies as an 'expert'. That's not to say I don't believe there are specialists who know more than most people about various topics, but that it quite often turns out that the respect, and the reverence, that is shown by many towards those who profess to be experts within a given field turns out to be misplaced. I have read the DSM IV 'definition' of A.S., and I have to say that I simply cannot agree with it. For example the following:

'(II) Restricted repetitive & stereotyped patterns of behavior, interests and activities, as manifested by at least one of the following:

(A) encompassing preoccupation with one or more stereotyped and restricted patterns of interest that is abnormal either in intensity or focus
(B) apparently inflexible adherence to specific, nonfunctional routines or rituals
(C) stereotyped and repetitive motor mannerisms (e.g. hand or finger flapping or twisting, or complex whole-body movements)
(D) persistent preoccupation with parts of objects'

Well, first of all, I have to say that from my own perspective, the behaviour of many we now label as being 'neurotypical' display what I would consider to be 'repetitive and stereotyped patterns of behaviour'. For example, whenever an 'N.T.' asks, 'So, what do you do for a living?', or says something about the weather, or that perennial favourite, 'How are you today?' (like they actually care).

A - 'encompassing preoccupation with one or more stereotyped and restricted patterns of interest that is abnormal either in intensity or focus'. An encompassing preoccupation - oh, do they mean like someone who has actually memorised the scores that some sports team back in 1930 achieved? Yes, that is, I would agree, 'abnormal', but most people who absorb such (sports) trivia tend to be 'neurotypicals' as well, because the vast majority of those with A.S. don't care about sport, due in large part to their negative experience with it when they were in high school. What even IS 'abnormal' anyway? According to what standard? Oh, that's right, according to the standard that society's majority - the neurotypicals - decide is abnormal (i.e. anyone who isn't like them).

C - 'stereotyped and repetitive motor mannerisms'. Does this include clicking fingers in response to a tune? Don't we ALL do that? Tapping feet to music?

Do you see what I mean? These so-called experts take it upon themselves to decide what is normal, healthy, right, proper, and true. I don't see anything objectively true or valuable in any of the DSM's; I just see bias and bigotry.



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07 Jan 2015, 8:39 pm

ASPartOfMe wrote:
I'll have to give you a condensed version of my reply because new system ate up 1/2 hour of work replying to you. But the quick reply is that while you should respect the experts work and take what they say seriously, the people who have the condition especially if the condition is neurological are experts in their own way. If you need benefits it is probably wise to go along with the "expert" diagnosis to receive them but that does not mean accepting it. The DSM 5 was fundamentally flawed in not accepting subcategories for Autism. Nobody would suggest subsuming all cancer subcategories based on severity or telling people that live in Paris they should accept only saying you are European. One reason this was done in Autism because the "experts" did not understood or opposed the unusually very positive reaction to a diagnoses even to the pointy of making it an identity. The positive reactions meant the diagnosis was a good treatment which is what psychology should be doing. If gays accepted that the "experts" were all they had and that they should not be against them, LBGT people would still be probably still be pathologized in the DSM


Exactly! :)

Why should I, or anyone else, allow ourselves to be defined according to what is written in a silly book? These people seem to be under the impression they can just issue an edict that can eliminate an entire group of people. It's absurd. If these 'experts' have no direct experience with anyone who has the condition they are trying to define, either into or out of existence, then as far as I am concerned they are not 'experts' at all, even if they do have a fancy PhD in psychology. It seems to me they need to get out more, and see how real people actually live, rather than just the abstract ones they seem to concoct in their dreams.



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07 Jan 2015, 9:02 pm

There is quite a lot in your post, but I will just concentrate on this -

[quote="Jezebel"]It's your opinion that it's flawed, but from what I've read in the many threads on here about the DSM-IV/DSM-5 differences, most people actually seem to prefer ASD because it got rid of the subtypes - some of which never really existed in an independent manner in the first place (i.e, Aspergers). I don't really know what you mean about accepting the diagnosis though, unless you're referring to someone disagreeing with the ASD diagnosis and Aspergers being the same as autism? In that case, I totally agree that you don't have to accept any diagnosis, but that's not what the other poster conveyed to me, mainly because of the adjectives they used to describe these professionals. They gave off the impression of actually being against those professionals who, again, are experts. While you can disagree with them, it just doesn't make sense in my opinion to actually seem to be against them and their ability to diagnose the condition. Because yet again, if you want to argue that these professionals can't diagnose the condition, you could also argue that autism never existed and they mistakenly included it in the DSM. Obviously professionals make mistakes too - they're not perfect - but they are considered professionals for a reason, so they're likely to know more about the condition than you do (in this case, you is referring to anyone who is not a professional)./quote]

I'm not really sure what you mean about 'the subtypes (plural) that didn't really exist'. Could you provide a list of them? One of those 'subtypes' they eliminated happened to be one that I belonged to. I've been defined out of existence! I am NOT autistic! As I understand it, autistics do things like bang their heads against walls (I hope that's not a stereotype, but that's what I have read they do). They don't talk, they often throw temper tantrums, and they often harm themselves. I don't do any of these things, and never have, but I fit the criteria for someone having A.S. (ex. inability to read 'body language', use of literal language, being pedantic, brutal honesty et cetera).

'They gave off the impression of actually being against those professionals who, again, are experts'.

and

'Obviously professionals make mistakes too - they're not perfect - but they are considered professionals for a reason, so they're likely to know more about the condition than you do (in this case, you is referring to anyone who is not a professional)'.

They may indeed know more than the average person about any given condition, but they certainly do not know more about a condition than the person who has it him/herself and has to live with it 24/7, especially if the expert in question does not have it him/herself. Reading the DSM IV 'definition' of A.S., and what has been said about their decision to remove this from the DSM V, I have to say that I have very strong suspicions they did not consult a single person with Asperger's Syndrome about either.



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07 Jan 2015, 9:04 pm

Lintar wrote:
Why should I, or anyone else, allow ourselves to be defined according to what is written in a silly book? These people seem to be under the impression they can just issue an edict that can eliminate an entire group of people. It's absurd. If these 'experts' have no direct experience with anyone who has the condition they are trying to define, either into or out of existence, then as far as I am concerned they are not 'experts' at all, even if they do have a fancy PhD in psychology. It seems to me they need to get out more, and see how real people actually live, rather than just the abstract ones they seem to concoct in their dreams.


Don't be too hard on them. Their motives are benign, I think, and they can't help their ignorance.



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07 Jan 2015, 9:38 pm

I just consider autism a diagnosis, not my identity.
I am not defined by any autism criteria.


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07 Jan 2015, 10:37 pm

Lintar wrote:
Exactly! :)

Why should I, or anyone else, allow ourselves to be defined according to what is written in a silly book? These people seem to be under the impression they can just issue an edict that can eliminate an entire group of people. It's absurd. If these 'experts' have no direct experience with anyone who has the condition they are trying to define, either into or out of existence, then as far as I am concerned they are not 'experts' at all, even if they do have a fancy PhD in psychology. It seems to me they need to get out more, and see how real people actually live, rather than just the abstract ones they seem to concoct in their dreams.


What are you talking about? How are you being defined by a book? If anything, it sounds like some people have defined themselves by the diagnoses if they feel like it's their identity.
I agree with this:
btbnnyr wrote:
I just consider autism a diagnosis, not my identity.
I am not defined by any autism criteria.

The DSM's criteria does not define you; rather it defines the disorder you're diagnosed with.

By the way, when I say expert I am referring to people who actually have experience with autism. I don't see how someone could be an autism expert without it to be honest. No one was eliminated either, because again, diagnostic criteria does not define you as a person. The scientific consensus (and it actually seems like a lot of autistic people now agree with them so..) was that those diagnosed with Autistic Disorder or Aspergers display the same symptoms - there is no difference between the diagnoses, so they were grouped together. You're still autistic and you're free to use the term Aspergers for as long as you like.

Lintar wrote:
I'm not really sure what you mean about 'the subtypes (plural) that didn't really exist'. Could you provide a list of them? One of those 'subtypes' they eliminated happened to be one that I belonged to. I've been defined out of existence! I am NOT autistic! As I understand it, autistics do things like bang their heads against walls (I hope that's not a stereotype, but that's what I have read they do). They don't talk, they often throw temper tantrums, and they often harm themselves. I don't do any of these things, and never have, but I fit the criteria for someone having A.S. (ex. inability to read 'body language', use of literal language, being pedantic, brutal honesty et cetera).

Well yeah, actually that is stereotyping. What you described is exactly what most NTs believe autism is. You described something you might see in a low functioning person (and maybe a moderately functioning person as well). You actually proved what I meant though. You were always autistic if you were diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome. Technically speaking, AS has always been on the autism spectrum because it was always considered a form of autism, even if you didn't know it. If it's a form of autism, aren't you autistic? All the DSM-5 did was make this distinction clearer.

I'm not sure what you wanted me to list? ASD encompasses Autistic Disorder, Aspergers, PDDNOS, and Childhood Disintegrative Disorder though. Some believe that AS never existed - independently from autism, that is - because of the criteria being so similar.

You realize the AS criteria and the Autistic Disorder criteria for diagnosis under the DSM-IV-TR were only separated by one thing, right? It was the speech delay. The criteria that you "fit" could also describe someone diagnosed with Autistic Disorder though, because yet again, the only difference between the two disorders diagnostically speaking was the speech delay. The ASD diagnosis shows the diversity of symptoms displayed by those of us on the spectrum. Many with HFA were indistinguishable from those diagnosed with Aspergers anyway, so why not? You may want to specifically look up high functioning autism - maybe watch some youtube videos and compare those diagnosed with HFA to those diagnosed with AS. You may want to start with this video (it's called My Autism and Me) about a girl diagnosed with Aspergers. She also interviews other autistic children.

Lintar wrote:
They may indeed know more than the average person about any given condition, but they certainly do not know more about a condition than the person who has it him/herself and has to live with it 24/7, especially if the expert in question does not have it him/herself. Reading the DSM IV 'definition' of A.S., and what has been said about their decision to remove this from the DSM V, I have to say that I have very strong suspicions they did not consult a single person with Asperger's Syndrome about either.

That's not true at all. It really depends on the person because some people may know more, but others won't. I could use you as an example. Like it or not, as I said, if you're diagnosed with AS, then you are autistic by definition of Aspergers Syndrome, but you don't seem to know much about it (autism/AS) overall. A professional that works with autism would know that how you described autism is very stereotypical; they would understand the actual spectrum aspect and how everyone presents symptoms differently. So there's an example of a professional knowing more about the disorder than someone diagnosed with it. Autism is very complicated... there are some things you can learn about it only from an academic setting. An example of this would be learning how to interpret the DSM. I've seen people express how they felt the severity levels for ASD just weren't clear enough. But if you have a copy of the DSM - and I would hope all professionals do - then you'd know that the levels are actually described more in-depth than websites tend to display. Another thing would be being able to distinguish autism from many other possible diagnoses, including its many comorbidities. In my opinion, to truly understand autism, you also have to have a good concept of abnormal psychology (and overall knowledge of psychology doesn't hurt either). While having autism gives you a personal perspective on it, it doesn't allow you to be able to grasp the complexity of it alone. I think that's why so many of us end up having autism as a special interest - we end up researching it and then that's when we start to understand the complexity of it and can say we understand autism. But just having it doesn't mean you understand it more than someone else though. Many people have proved that to me... so in my opinion, you either need to have done extensive research (because it's your special interest) or have studied it. Studying it still gives you more overall knowledge though, because you'll also learn all these fascinating therapies and interventions that might be able to help people in the future. :D

No one has yet to answer the question about what they feel the differences are between the two diagnoses though.


_________________
Diagnosed with ADHD combined type (02/09/16) and ASD Level 1 (04/28/16).


Last edited by Jezebel on 07 Jan 2015, 10:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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07 Jan 2015, 10:55 pm

I don't think there was any reliable way to distinguish Asperger's and autism in many adults by looking at them and that's the ostensible reason for the name change.

What's sad is that a label that some people found a way to make positive has been replaced with something that is unappealing to many who already feel disenfranchised. I found the Asperger's label confusing but that doesn't change that a lot of people feel they lost something with the change. The limited consideration by the experts for the experience of those they were relabeling isn't a finer moment.

As I see it, taking homosexuality out of the DSM was a humanizing choice. Removing aspergers from the DSM has some benefits, in addition to the drawbacks, but it did not humanize us to others, and although I was not comfortable with autism and Aspergers being separate, I dislike how the new criteria are so negative about our abilities to grow and be happy and connected. Not saying that's necessarily inaccurate, it is discouraging though.