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Flood Of Public Comments Helping To Shape New DSM

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Some changes are being made in response to thousands of public comments on the forthcoming Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, but the autism recommendations will likely remain unaltered.

A series of recommendations were released in February as experts from the American Psychiatric Association work to draft the fifth edition of the DSM, which is expected in May 2013. In response, more than 8,600 public comments flooded the organization, most of which were related to proposed changes to the way autism is diagnosed.

Under the DSM proposal, autism, Asperger’s syndrome, childhood disintegrative disorder and pervasive developmental disorder, not otherwise specified would be folded into one diagnosis of “autism spectrum disorders.” Clinicians would then detail a person’s severity on the spectrum.

Though the comments remain confidential, discussion about the proposed autism changes has been heated. Many parents and higher functioning individuals with Asperger’s syndrome say they are concerned that the new terminology would not accurately reflect their level of ability.

In response to the comments, changes have already been made to some sections of the DSM draft including those pertaining to anorexia nervosa, sexual and gender identity disorders, among others. But the experts seem to be sticking to their original plans when it comes to autism, reports American Medical News. To read more click here.

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