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TIME Mag.– DSM changes

May 03

 …making autism go away….I posted comments.

DSM-5 Debate: Committee Backs Off Some Changes, Re-Opens Comments HERE

The committee responsible for revising the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders – psychiatry’s diagnostic “bible” commonly referred to as the DSM – has dropped the inclusion of two controversial new diagnoses that it had previously proposed, and re-opened its website for public comment on other potential revisions.

The moves are a sign that the public uproar over some of the changes has hit home, but many of the most contentious amendments still remain.

“For the first time in its history, DSM-5 has shown some flexibility and capacity to correct itself. Hopefully, this is just the beginning of what will turn out to be a number of other necessary DSM-5 retreats,” wrote Dr. Allen Frances, chair of the DSM-4 task force, on his blog at Psychology Today, in response to the committee’s turnabout. Frances is a major critic of the DSM-5.

The DSM defines and classifies all mental illnesses and is widely used by practitioners and insurance companies to determine what conditions are considered abnormal, which treatments should be covered by insurance companies, and which warrant special educational services. Consequently, changes to the precise content of the DSM have major social implications….

Another change that remains is the elimination of the diagnosis of Asperger’s syndrome, which will be subsumed under autism spectrum disorders in the DSM-5. Autism advocates oppose the change because they are concerned that families affected by Asperger’s will lose critical educational and other services. They also contend that the revision will diminish clarity of diagnoses, both for research purposes and personal understanding.

 

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