APA's new diagnostic manual: Asperger's Disorder to be Dropped

Discussion in 'Off The Beaten Track' started by Rex, Dec 2, 2012.

  1. Rex

    Rex Well-Known Member

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    American Pyschiatric Association's diagnostic manual DSM-V, to drop Aspergers!

    What does this bode for people with diagnoses that fall under the spectrum that need the definition to justify it to their insurance companies?? They don't say anything about "true" autism (which is safe), but Asperger's. Educational benefits won't be affected, but now people (and those with children who previously fell under the Asperger spectrum), will have to be rediagnosed with other disorders...

  2. Wyliefan

    Wyliefan Well-Known Member

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    Wow, I can't believe they're doing that! Doesn't sound like a very good idea . . .
  3. Rex

    Rex Well-Known Member

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    I'm sure most will be re-diagnosed with some sort of social anxiety disorder. But Asperger's was THE mental illness diagnosis of the 21st century it seemed, Wylie. Even Bill Gates and Steven Spielberg were rumored to have it. Guess they are just plain ol' geeks now. :p.
  4. Wyliefan

    Wyliefan Well-Known Member

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    You hear about it a lot, that's for sure. I work with a guy who has it (and is a single father raising a son who has a very severe case of it). I'll be interested to hear his take on this.
  5. PrincessLeppard

    PrincessLeppard Pink Bitch

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    Every socially awkward kid in my school gets hit with the Asperger's label. I think the description is too generic, and sometimes, awkward people are just awkward.

    However, I'm not sure this is the solution, either.
  6. Angelskates

    Angelskates Well-Known Member

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    I agree. Since Aspergers is a form of autism, it will force psychlogists to really make a decision, autistic or not. IMO, the Aspergers label has been too freely given, much like ADHD.
  7. Anita18

    Anita18 Well-Known Member

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    I agree there is a difference between socially awkward and what Asperger's is considered to be. When a kid is young and unable to communicate clearly in the first place, I think it's too soon to throw a diagnosis on them.

    Alf is socially awkward, but he cares about how I feel. He's just extremely shy and self-conscious.

    I always suspected my cousin has Asperger's, although I don't believe he's ever been officially diagnosed. But he shows all the signs: being interested in tiny technical details, having no social filter, not being interested in people, the whole works. He in his mid-20s and doing fine in life, since he's very book smart and happened upon an industry where his programming/work skills are much more prized than his social skills. He makes a lot of money and AFAIK, he is happy. AFAIK his parents have not pressured him to get married or have kids. I believe as long as people accept them as they are and steer them toward a career that will value their skills, they will do perfectly fine and require little to no intervention. There's nothing really "wrong" with them - it's just an attitude adjustment for a society who thinks that everyone should be a social butterfly. They are just different.

    If anything, having that diagnosis of Asperger's might open a parent's eyes that their child IS different and may require a different kind of parenting , especially if the family is more gregarious than mine is. I mean, I come from a family of extremely nerdy introverts, so an Asperger's child wouldn't really be anything out of the ordinary for us. But for a family who loves to go out and socialize, it might make a difference. You can't pressure an Asperger's kid to be different from what they are.
  8. MacMadame

    MacMadame Internet Beyotch

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    I agree with that. I also think our society loves to throw labels at people as if labeling things solves problems.

    Alternately, putting a label like that might make a family treat their kid like there is something wrong with them when a lot of these kids are perfectly fine and grow up into happy adults because they make life choices that suit them.
  9. Anita18

    Anita18 Well-Known Member

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    True. It really does depend on the family. Ours never held much importance over social standing, and my uncle was extremely proud that his son could do computer programming and even help him at his computer software company, at the age of 12. So it worked out even if he's never been officially diagnosed. :p I'm not sure what my aunt and uncle expect of him when he gets older, though. I'm hoping they won't pressure him into marriage, because with the money he's making and his social cluelessness, I'm afraid he might get a gold-digger who'll take advantage of him. :eek:

    The only thing one really needs to do is adjust their expectations, not hoist "treatments" or "special education" on otherwise really smart kids. If you expect your child to be really popular and a social butterfly and work with people, that expectation will have to be adjusted. It's more training the parents than treating the kids. :lol:
  10. ballettmaus

    ballettmaus Well-Known Member

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    Well, kids/people who really do have Asperger's are not "perfectly fine". Asperger's is the weakest form of autism and I know two people who have it and they are not just socially awkward or different. It's far more than that.

    I do agree, however, that people love to throw labels at people to solve problems and that that needs to change! It's not helping anyone and those who have Asperger's (in that case) have to suffer because doctor's are too lazy to do a more thorough job. That isn't right.
  11. Aceon6

    Aceon6 Get off my lawn

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    I just read a fairly comprehensive writeup in my Sunday Boston Globe. Asperger's as a standalone diagnosis is being dropped, as is autism. Instead, there's a single "autism spectrum disorder" with a severity scale. It may take insurance companies time to adjust (and they're still coping with ICD-10), but responsible insurers shouldn't have any problems with the change. Similarly, gender related diagnoses are being consolidated.
  12. Really

    Really No longer just a "well-known member" Yay!

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    We've been seeing ASD in our students' psych reports for several years now. I wondered if that's what was going to replace distinct autism or Asperger's diagnoses.
  13. Wyliefan

    Wyliefan Well-Known Member

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    That's good.
  14. Rex

    Rex Well-Known Member

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    I would love to read this; can you provide us with a link? Do we have to pay for it?

    At one point my shrink ruled out Aspergers' for me.

    Turns out I'm just a big queen with a geek streak...
    IceAlisa and (deleted member) like this.
  15. Southpaw

    Southpaw Saint Smugpawski

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    That may be but in my book you are DY-NO-MITE!!!!!!!
  16. Angelskates

    Angelskates Well-Known Member

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    I'm not a fan of many of the other changes being proposed/made, but I am a fan of this one. I think many of the changes will lead to more medicated children. A new diagnosis for severe frequent temper tantrums, disruptive mood dysregulation disorder - I fear kids won't be able to be "naughty" anymore without getting a label :( Sometimes kids are just being kids, and sometimes the underlying issue isn't a psych diagnosis, but parent discipline, teacher training, others issues with the child, or assistance needed in other ways. Labels are very hard to reverse.
  17. PrincessLeppard

    PrincessLeppard Pink Bitch

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    Good Lord. That's right up there with Oppositional/Defiant Disorder, another bullshit diagnosis difficult kids are hit with.
  18. Kasey

    Kasey Loving on babies!

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    This. When I worked in adolescent psych, we saw a lot of this, as well as other vague "Conduct disorders". Um no, little Johnny, you're a thug. Being a gang-banger is not a disorder. It's you being a criminal.

    I think all of the diagnosed "disorders" in this country also add to the entitlement attitude and lack of taking personal responsibility for actions. GRRRR.
    millyskate and (deleted member) like this.
  19. MacMadame

    MacMadame Internet Beyotch

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    Then they should have been diagnosed with autism and in the new system, they will. Or ASD as they are calling it.

    The problem I see with it is that, if you want to say that mental illness is a disease just like cancer, then you can't take every human behavior that presents on a continuum and draw an arbitrary line in the sand and say anyone whose behavior crosses that line has a disease. Being anti-social is not a disease. I think operating like this completely weakens the argument that mental illness is a disease. This is bad for people who have mental illnesses that actually are diseases because it makes it hard for them to be taken seriously and to get treatment.

    It's also bad for the ones who don't have diseases because now some of them get labeled and thrown into a system when there is absolutely nothing wrong with them.

    IMO diagnosis of disease need to be saved for people whose bodies don't work right. We know some people's brains (which are an organ in the body) are broken. Those are the people who need a diagnosis. Not kids who aren't well behaved, adults who get easily distracted, etc. They need coping strategies for getting along in a society they are at odds with but that's not the same thing as treating a disease.

    Of course, we do have to remember that these are the same people and the same book that claimed being gay was a mental illness at one time. I don't really take a lot of stock in what they say. Which is easy enough for me -- I'm a software engineer. I feel sorry for people whose ability to do their job is impacted by this book.
  20. Rex

    Rex Well-Known Member

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    Oh Florida! I could kiss you on the neck, but....never mind
    (thanks ;) ).
  21. Anita18

    Anita18 Well-Known Member

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    Exactly. Alf and I are introverted, but in different ways. I've seen discussions about considering introverts as having very mild autism, but I don't think I agree with that. Crowds don't bother me. Loud noises don't bother me. (In fact, the more bass, the better!) I just prefer being by myself. Both crowds and loud noises bother Alf though, a lot, so I suppose his brand of introversion can be considered slightly autistic.

    But it doesn't affect his everyday life. I suppose if he wanted to be a CEO of a large company, it would, but many people make career decisions based on what they can handle socially. I think that's where the line should be drawn - if something is affecting your everyday life in an extremely negative way. Being easily distracted is not a disorder, unless it's so bad you can't hold down any job. And "frequent temper tantrums" of a normal amplitude (ie, no human or property damage) are an inconvenience, not a disorder.
  22. Angelskates

    Angelskates Well-Known Member

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    God, no. I'm an introvert, crowds do bother me. I have sensory issues, but I am not autistic. Plenty of people have some autistic traits/tendencies, but it doesn't make them "slightly autistic". This is the thinking that has society in trouble, IMO, everything needs a label. You're either on the autistic scale, or you're not. There's not such thing as slightly autistic, any more than there's "a little bit dyslexic" or "a bit ADHD". You're your own normal, and everyone is different.
  23. AragornElessar

    AragornElessar Well-Known Member

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    This almost happened w/a cousin of mine. He kept getting his work done long before the rest of the Class, so since he was bored, he was "causing trouble". A meeting took place between his Parents (His Mom's my First Cousin), the Teacher and the Principal and guess what happened? They wanted him put on meds because he "had ADHD".

    To say his Dad told them off from what I've heard is an understatement. Not only that, but his Mom/my First Cousin is a Pharamcist. They told the two of them this w/out any medical assessment at all and the only "proof" of Andrew's ADHD being a problem and or disruption of the Class. My Cousins then also told the Teacher and Principal unless they had an assessment done, and that assessment done by a Mental Health Professional of their choosing, not the School Board's, that proved Andrew needed the meds was the only way he was going on those meds. They also told the Teacher to give Andrew more work, since it was happening every day and she had to know by then what would end up happening.

    She couldn't do that. That would mess up her lesson plans.

    Not only did Andrew end up at a different school, but he was also tested. Twice. Once for ADHD, which he wasn't. The other testing was to see what his Learning Levels were. He ended up being in the Gifted program until Graduation.

    However, if they hadn't stood up to the Teacher and Principal, Andrew would have been another one of those kids we all hear of who got branded ADHD just because he was causing trouble and w/out the assessment.

    From what I understand of what I've read about this change, as Angelskates said, I'm scared we're about to see a slew of kids simply labeled ADHD and medicated due to whatever *other than* ADHD, Autism or the other childhood mental issues we've heard of the last few years.

    Just to me, this sounds like a very slippery slope things are headed down.
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2012
  24. Anita18

    Anita18 Well-Known Member

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    I'm not calling my fiance autistic either, but there is a definite difference between where our introversion originates. Labeling IMO doesn't really mean anything unless you actually do something with that information. I'm more thinking out loud than anything else. :lol: Human personalities can be pretty fascinating.

    And isn't autism already on a scale? You have those who can talk and those who can't. Do they need different diagnoses?

    I actually believe we're all on every spectrum there is, on some level, but there's no need to find a specific treatment or medicate for it unless it IS affecting your life very negatively. We are our own normal, as you said. But I believe that just because we're on a spectrum, doesn't mean that we need to be "treated" for anything. Then again I have a very self-deprecating nature. :p
  25. Angelskates

    Angelskates Well-Known Member

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    With kids, just having the label can in sometimes be detrimental. The same for some parents. Sometimes the parents want a diagnosis to explain their child's behaviour, when it's really just the child's own tendencies and part of their personality. With labels comes stigma. With some labels, comes answers, but sometimes I think they're a cop-out, an excuse not to try and get to know the child and work with his or her uniqueness. I think this especially when the diagnosis automatically leads some to medication.

    They get a a scaled autistic diagnosis - the autistic scale is mild (sometimes called high functioning), moderate and severe. High functioning/mild autism and Aspergers overlap so much that there is very little difference, except with what insurance companies and schools cover. Aspergers was always the "better" diagnosis; the one parents beg for over autism.
  26. michiruwater

    michiruwater Well-Known Member

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    There is nothing wrong with being an introvert. We live in a society that prefers extraversion, so people who are introverts are seen as the lesser species, but it's just a different personality type. Depending upon what you read, between 25-50% of the US is introverted. I really doubt that 1/4 to 1/2 of the country has 'mild autism'. Honestly, as an introvert I'm kind of offended by that remark. I'm also both perplexed and offended by the idea that an introvert who is bothered by crowds is showing signs of autism. Um, what? What if they're just claustrophobic? Ridiculous.
  27. Anita18

    Anita18 Well-Known Member

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    I find this pretty prevalent in adults who try to self-diagnose themselves too. For example, I'm a member of an INFJ group on Facebook (I readily admit I'm not 100% INFJ, but I do share many qualities), and it seems like many members there try to explain their personalities and quirks through the lens of being an INFJ. "I'm an INFJ, so that's why I do this. It explains everything about my personality!"

    I find that compartmentalizing your entire personality through one label is going overboard, but many people will continue to do so, whether through official avenues or not. I know it's difficult to de-stigmatize such labels, but that will have to be necessary. It's not bad, it's just different. That's all.

    Having a label on something may even help to accept that part of yourself. When I was in HS and college, I didn't feel normal because I was so introverted. I didn't like to party or hang out a lot, and I put pressure on myself because of that. Realizing that introverts really do need different things from extroverts help me accept that there was nothing wrong with me. I'm an introvert. I'm different. And that's okay.

    Having that kind of awareness and ease with myself and my own introversion definitely helped my relationship with my fiance too, because he's even more introverted than I am. Many people simply don't know what to do with him. I just let him be and he definitely appreciates that. But first you have to accept that he's a very sensitive introvert and that he has certain needs.

    I definitely have more patience with my cousin than his own brother and my sister do. I've accepted that he very likely as Asperger's and that he can't help his personality quirks, so I might as well just roll with it. There's definitely two sides to having labeling someone in that manner, so YMMV. It really depends on the people involved.
  28. Anita18

    Anita18 Well-Known Member

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    Never said there was anything wrong with being introverted. I'm introverted and proud to say I did not step foot outside my apartment today. I had a great time by myself.

    We just need to de-stigmatize mental illness, above all. Just what is so wrong about being mildly autistic? I have no problem with it if I'm part of that group. You or I or Angelskates obviously don't need treatment. It just might help explain why we are the way we are. It's just for curiosity's sake and something to consider.
  29. VIETgrlTerifa

    VIETgrlTerifa Well-Known Member

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    I'm learning about how the courts are skeptical regarding defenses that are mental in nature such as the insanity plea in criminal cases or mental handicaps that are not considered defenses in tort law and therefore the defendants aren't afforded the the same defenses compared to someone who may have caused a serious automobile accident injuring one's property due to a sudden physical ailment.

    Not saying if there's a right answer or wrong answer, but the skepticism seems to stem from people's mistrust of psychology as a science. I think this thread is illustrating that as well.
  30. Angelskates

    Angelskates Well-Known Member

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    I don't need treatment because I don't have autism. A child with mild autism needs support in some way in order to learn certain things, cope in society, and integrate, find a job that suits, hold a job etc. Maybe not long term, but if they have autism, they will need some form of support at some time, to learn strategies that may (or may not) be able to be implemented independently. Having mild autism is not the same as being introverted and having some "personality quirks". I know several people with Aspergers who are extroverts, or at least, that's how they see themselves. I know lots of social kids with autism.

    Why can't you have patience for your cousin even if he doesn't "very likely" have Aspergers? Can't you just "roll with" his personality quirks without labelling him? Why do you need to consider him "very likely as Asperger's" before you have patience and roll with his personality quirks? What if that's just him, and not something that can be labelled? Could you have patience then?

    I think it's better to understand yourself, your personality, your traits and tendencies as a human being, rather than as a label. I also think it's better to try and understand others this way.

    I work with kids with special needs, and their families, and try saying it this way: First, he/she's a person, second he's a your son (or brother, etc), and then he has x, y, and z, which means he has autism. The autism is not who he is, he's a person, he's your son, and he happens to have autism. The autism label never goes away, but the person, the son, the x, y, and z is what we work with. The x, y and z are more important to me than the label of autism. I don't need the label - if there's x, y and z; I can work with your child on that. "Autism" as a label means nothing without the actual person, and for each person the x, y and z is different - sometimes common factors, but never exactly the same. Children (and adults) with autism are as unique as those without. Too often the label is put before the child, and thrown around as an answer when it really isn't. That x, y, and z isn't helped by giving a label, and shouldn't need a label in order to be worked on. Labels can be really useful, especially in my work, as a starting point and getting diagnosis reports (if there is one) is one part of our intake, it's good for background and saves us asking the same questions, but based on all of this, I couldn't even tell you where I would start with a child, until I met him/her, and even then, only after several sessions to I really start to decide what I want to focus on. Because I try not to focus on the label, and instead focus on the child. Anita18, I think you really want to think you do this, but you needed to give your cousin a label in order to accept his quirkiness, and to me, that's a shame.

    I'm an INTJ, and I don't care, I don't think it's good or bad. I'm me. I just found out it means I am not suited to teaching though :lol: but actually my job is awesome, and I think I am good at it.
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2012