The autblogs seem to oppose it, the reasons for which were not readily apparent to me, so I thought I would pull together some thoughts and opinions about the change. The first thing I noticed about the web-buzz is the rush to judgment about what will happen based on this or that study, such as the idea that they are trying to deny people services (or alternately, that they are trying to sell people more drugs).
In my analysis, as I will elaborate on below, my main conclusions are (1) It is important to get the definition right, but the new DSM-V scattered language is not a help. As currently proposed, it could cause a more random, less helpful rate of diagnosis. (2) The DSM should be less judgmental, and not define thresholds or attempt to allocate services. The allocation of services is a separate issue entirely, and should be based on the observed needs of people in their environment. And (3), the definition of autism should be based on a more structurally sound understanding, using the categories of focus, sensitivity, acculturation, and naivete. I’ve drafted completely new language for the diagnostic critiera. Continue reading