Asperger's eliminated from the DSM V?

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Verdandi
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17 Dec 2010, 10:58 pm

I've been trying to understand the new criteria, as it does appear that people who are AS now might be excluded under the new (but apparently incomplete?) criteria.



Locustman
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20 Dec 2010, 6:20 am

anbuend wrote:
Jono wrote:
Locustman wrote:
I'm in agreement with Dandelion Fireworks. This proposed merger sucks ass.

The hidden agenda behind it is purely political - a cheap excuse for cost-cutting on the part of elitist, penny-pinching governments who intend to use the recession as a moral basis for cutting off financial and moral support for anyone who isn't obviously disabled enough to be confused with Stephen Hawking after a lobotomy.

Merging AS with high functioning autism will lead to fewer AS diagnoses, less practical support for AS diagnosees in the workplace, which in turn will lead to higher unemployment amongst the undiagnosed who still struggle with the same symptoms and - by extension - a higher rate of alcoholism, heart disease and suicide.


I don't know. DSM-V works a bit differently from previous versions of the DSM in the sense that they're going use a dimensional scale rating from severe to mild. They've also said that they want to design it in such a way that anyone who qualified and received support for an AS diagnosis before, should still fall on that scale now. So I wouldn't worry about losing support just yet. However, there are also some valid concerns about merging Asperger's with autism in one diagnosis - both Tony Attwood and prof Simon-Baron Cohen are not happy with it.


But the idea of Asperger's being eliminated is wonderful and long overdue according to most autism experts including the one who invented Asperger's. They're two separate issues, and I really don't like the fact that they're being conflated so that a person seemingly can't like one and hate the other.


But how on earth is eliminating Aspergers altogether going to change that? Aspergers and autism may indeed be seperate issues, but under the new criteria, AS will largely cease to be recognised as a disability AT ALL. The way to deal with seperate issues being mistakenly conflated isn't to sweep one of the issues under the carpet altogehter and hope it quietly goes away.

Why are so many people on this forum entrenched in the belief that the elimination of Aspergers' is a good thing? Do people really think that the stigma of being labelled as having a condition on the autistic spectrum outweighs the benefits of being diagnosed? As someone who's lived 28 years of my life as an undiagnosed aspie and 12 years as a diagnosed one, I can assure everyone who thinks otherwise that it doesn't.


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Locustman
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20 Dec 2010, 6:31 am

Jono wrote:
Locustman wrote:
I'm in agreement with Dandelion Fireworks. This proposed merger sucks ass.

The hidden agenda behind it is purely political - a cheap excuse for cost-cutting on the part of elitist, penny-pinching governments who intend to use the recession as a moral basis for cutting off financial and moral support for anyone who isn't obviously disabled enough to be confused with Stephen Hawking after a lobotomy.

Merging AS with high functioning autism will lead to fewer AS diagnoses, less practical support for AS diagnosees in the workplace, which in turn will lead to higher unemployment amongst the undiagnosed who still struggle with the same symptoms and - by extension - a higher rate of alcoholism, heart disease and suicide.


I don't know. DSM-V works a bit differently from previous versions of the DSM in the sense that they're going use a dimensional scale rating from severe to mild. They've also said that they want to design it in such a way that anyone who qualified and received support for an AS diagnosis before, should still fall on that scale now. So I wouldn't worry about losing support just yet.


Officially, that may be true. I can't comment on the economic and political situation in your part of the world as I don't live there. But here in the UK, both the current and previous governments have already been eroding fiinancial safety nets for anyone who isn't visibly disabled to the point of the aforementioned lobotomised Stephen Hawking. One example olf this is that Prospects - an organisation specifically designed to help people on ther spectrum find work that their conditions won't adversely interfere with their ability to do - lost their funding for access-to-work visits several years ago, resulting in at least one of my AS friends losing his job. This situation can't do anything but get worse in an environment where those on the lower end of the autistic scale aren't even recognised as being in need of assistance in the workplace.

In an economy where anyone - with mental health problems or otherwise - working in the public sector is potentially vulnerable to job losses and mental health trusts are having their budgets cut even for gravely disabling conditions such as schizophrenia, I can't see the practical results of this merger as being anything but counter-productive.


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Last edited by Locustman on 21 Dec 2010, 1:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Verdandi
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20 Dec 2010, 7:21 am

I've been semi-following the UK "austerity measures" (which are totally disgusting, sympathies) and what I wonder is how will the change make things harder for you? I mean, how will being labeled as "autistic" instead of "AS" make it more difficult to access services than the overall erosion?

I'm not asking this to challenge you, I don't understand the connection you've drawn.



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20 Dec 2010, 9:25 am

I'm also confused how calling AS what it has always been (autism without speech delay, mostly) "sweeps it under the rug". The only point of calling it Asperger's in the first place was to get it re-accepted as autism in a time when autism had come to mean something that even Kanner's original patients would have had a hard time getting diagnosed as. It's been re-accepted. Purpose served. Even the woman who invented it has been saying so for years.

I can't speak for anyone else, but I've been wanting this ever since I learned about the division. It's just not a logical division point at all. It has nothing to do with what really separates some autistic people from others, nor what brings us together. And if something can't do that correctly, I question the point of it. (And when people want a new name just based on the stigma of autism, I have little sympathy having always either been diagnosed with autism or atypical autism. Plus, it would be changed to something terribly missing the point, something with "social" in the title even though primarily-social models of autism miss the point of what really makes us different.)


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