With anything that changes, especially an important reference manual, people are going to be confused about what those changes actually mean. Nowhere is this more evident than in the 5th edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5).
As we noted yesterday, the final revision was approved for publication. The DSM-5 is how clinicians and researchers diagnose mental disorders in the United States. A common language is especially important when conducting research, to ensure treatments are actually working for the symptoms people have.
One of the changes getting a lot of attention is the “doing away” of Asperger’s Syndrome. But to be clear — Asperger’s isn’t being dropped from the DSM-5. It’s simply being merged and renamed, to better reflect a consensus of our scientific knowledge on the disorder as one form of the new “autism spectrum disorder” diagnosis.
So while the term, “Asperger’s” is going away, the actual diagnosis — you know, the thing that actually matters — is not.
But you wouldn’t know it reading some of the mainstream media’s reporting on this concern.