…And if it has, how does this affect someone with a diagnosis?
In May 2014, Asperger’s Syndrome was written out of the DSM-5 – the NAS goes into some pretty decent clinical detail on the change, which you can have a look at here: http://bit.ly/1C5DEjh . The next part is a personal viewpoint as someone with Asperger’s Syndrome, with some other people’s opinions thrown in for good measure.
Obviously, this change was huge in the world of Autism – there was, and still is a huge buzz around the topic, and it’s still a point of debate. To say that those who have Asperger’s Syndrome keep their diagnosis is a point that is almost moot; as this generation grows up, more and more people will carry the new name of Autism Spectrum Disorder, or ASD, and less and less people will identify with Asperger’s Syndrome in the US. To me, this creates a disparity between mental health in the US and the rest of the world, and could create a barrier towards getting support for what is still Asperger’s elsewhere.
Just to add a little confusion to the mix, there’s the question of what to call oneself when someone is diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder, or ASD, for short. I’m Asperger’s Syndrome, or AS, and I identify as Asperger’s if someone asks. If you have Autism Spectrum Disorder, or ASD, how does that work? Is a person with an ASD, then, Autistic? It suggests a lack of forethought,
One thing that is most troubling is the lack of reference to social imagination, or theory of mind. Lack of theory of mind, or ‘social imagination’ is the difficulty seeing things of another person’s point of view. Difficulty with theory of mind is something that is often misunderstood in terms of Asperger’s Syndrome, with many people believing that people with Asperger’s lack the ability to empathise at all, or even lack imagination. However, to simply write it out of the triad of impairments completely seems to disregard the difficulties people with AS face when dealing with the nuances of ‘putting yourself in someone else’s shoes’.
In summary, writing out diagnoses such as PDD/NOS, and Childhood Integrative Disorder seems progressive, but whether Autism Spectrum Disorder will stick in the Asperger’s community remains to be seen, and at the moment there is still confusion as to how this affects people with a current diagnosis of Asperger’s Syndrome, at least in clinical terms.
Yours, Luke Jackson: Asperger’s, or Autism Spectrum Disorder, or something.