Autism Diagnostic Criteria Revised in the DSM-5





This Saturday, the Diagnosis Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) was revised and released, changing the diagnostic criteria of autism. The DSM-5 is a document of the American Psychiatric Association and the primary, psychiatric diagnostic tool used by organizations, individuals, and government services nationally. The DSM-4 has defined autism through 4 varying diagnoses: Autistic Disorder, Asperger’s Syndrome, Pervasive Developmental Disorder-Not Otherwise Specified, and Childhood Disintegrative Disorder. These categories have officially been replaced by the all-encompassing title Autism Spectrum Disorder. Within the definition, socially related elements of autism are now described more specifically as social communication impairment and repetitive/restrictive behavior. The new definition includes sensory processing symptoms as well. These changes could affect how organizations continue to disperse services to individuals diagnosed by the criteria of the DSM-4, though the individuals responsible for the revisions incorporated into the DSM-5 have encouraged against this. The National Institute of Mental Health (NIHM) has vouched to not hold the DSM-5 criteria as exclusive standards and claims to be shying away from symptom-based categories in general.