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How Asperger's Syndrome Is Solidly Addressed In the DSM-5 For 2013

Updated on May 15, 2013

Aspberger's Was Not Removed From the DSM-V

(c) 2013; Patty Inglish. Thirty years' work expereince with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) Asperger's Syndrome, Non-Verbal Learning Disabilities and related conditions.


The question was asked concerning why Asperger's Syndrome was removed from the DSM-V. The fact is that it has not been removed, but absorbed into ASD; and becuase of that, clients with Asperger's and their families need to be alert for attempts to cut help previously given.

I wrote extensively in 2012 about ASD, Asperger's Syndrome, and the changes proposed by the American Psychiatric Association for the DSM-V with the release date May 2013. This included the link to the association's website for accepting discussion and public suggestions about the proposed changes and even additional changes that individuals thought might benefit the diagnostic manual and those experiencing not only ASD and Aspberger's, but also a range of other conditions. Many people that might have benefited did not take advantage of the opportunity to express an opinion or a suggestion. Many others did so.

My professional opinion is that the changes to number and type of criteria required to be met after May 2013 in order to receive a diagnosis of ASD may eliminate some people that have the diagnosis of ASD or Aspberger's at this time. because a larger number of total criteria must be met in DSM-V than in DSM-IV-TR. Aspberger's Syndrome is categorized in the DSM-V as a part of ASD, as follows:

Quote From February 2012 Article and Explanation

"The American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic Manual-V will be completed in 2012 for release in 2013, 20 years after the DSM-IV was first used.The changes have been upsetting to patients and families, as well as some advocates and practitioners.

DSM-V, in process, thus far contains the umbrella category Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). It will encompass

  1. All of autism as we know it aside from Asperger's,
  2. Asperger's Syndrome,
  3. Childhood Disintegrative Disorder,
  4. Pervasive Developmental Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS).

As a separate condition from ASD, the category Social Communication Disorder will appear. Not everyone is comfortable with this."


Some media alarmists have broadcast speculation that 75% of Aspberger's clients will lose their diagnosis and any associated benefits - like additional educational help available for learning disabilities in the classroom and the like. However, many medical and mental health practitioners able to legally diagnose disorders (at least in my state) will see that many Aspberger's clients meet all 4 criteria required in and after May 2013 (up from 3 criteria required in the DSM-IV-TR) and change the previous diagnosis of Aspberger's to ASD. ASD diagnoses still qualify for classroom assistance and other benefits - at least in my state.

The potential problem will be among those in power at the school level that wish to decrease substantial expenditures, paperwork, follow-up (Individual Educational Plans: IEPs) and in that attempt, insist that the student does not meet 4 criteria, but only 3, 2, or even 1. If this insistance is accepted by parents and the student's medical practitioners, then benefits associated with ASD or previously, Aspberger's, will be lost. Parents need to be alert and ready to fight against this trend if it appears.

Parents and Aspberger's Clients: Gather together and address your government officials (as you have done in Oregon - link provided below), school boards, and mental health and medical boards and state that changes in diagnostic procedures in the DSM-V do not change the need for help among Aspberger's clients. Labels and codes may change, but the condition(s) is the same.

Please see the complete article at:

Reference: Mental Health Reform: American Changes Legal Criteria for Autism Spectrum Disorder

Additional Important Information About ASD

  • How to Write a Mental Health Assessment for a Client -- What is a Mental Health Assessment and which professionals can complete it? Too many individuals are ready to accept a shorthand assessment that is incorrect. This includes in cases of the disorders of ASD and Aspberger's.
  • Oregon Tackles the 1% Rate for Autism Spectrum Disorder -- The rate of Autism Spectrum Disoders increased inn American children born in 1992, 1994, and 1996. Among parents that are taking action to help children who have ASD, those in Oregon are finding solutions.
  • Early Childhood Interventions for Autism Spectrum Disorder --The American Psychological Association has examined the large body of research behind all the disorders that landed on the new Autism Spectrum published by the Other APA (Psychiatric) in the DSM-V diagnostic manual effective May 2013. Public input was taken into account by the psychiatric professionals. The stricter criteria may cut some people out of a diagnosis, but some experts see it the other way. Regardless, some private citizens may be unhappy with the findings.



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    • Patty Inglish, MS profile imageAUTHOR

      Patty Inglish MS 

      5 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

      Hi cartero6 - I admire you for doing this work and wish you and your clients every success you can have. Many happy days to you all!

    • carter06 profile image


      5 years ago from Cronulla NSW

      Patty just need to say thanks as this info is really helpful to me. As a previous school counselor and now a child and adolescent counselor I have had the pleasure of working with many children with Asperger's and I am glad I now know some of the implications and changes for the diagnosis in the latest edition of the manual. Great job with this informative hub, voted UUI & shared...cheers

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile imageAUTHOR

      Patty Inglish MS 

      5 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

      MickeySr - It sounds as though you live a very interesting life! Really, I'd like to see "intriguing peculiar guy" at the Bible study; but most importantly, I wish you and your family the best!

      someonewhoknows - That's right, nutrition is important. Art Carney made a TV film in which his character was committed to an institution for mental illness and the staff found that it was all caused by poor nutrition and improper medication. I think that must occur often.

      So MANY people are quick to point fingers and shout psychiatric diagnoses and I wonder if that is stimulated by reality television, particuarly the "real housewives" sort of thing.

    • someonewhoknows profile image


      5 years ago from south and west of canada,north of ohio

      Patty Inglish speaks the truth about many things and I agree her concerning Aspberger's and the other mental problems we have at some point in our lives no matter how short a span that might be due to ignorance,physical exhaustion and or accidents that can occur during ones life.

      Even what we eat or do not eat can affect our brain function and how we interact with people over a lifetime.

    • MickeySr profile image


      5 years ago from Hershey, Pa.

      Patty ~ you're so generous and kind to provide me such a response, I very much appreciate it. I think I'm perhaps not inclined, not opposed, but not inclined to seek a diagnosis for two reasons; first, I think I may fear discovering that I've just been a miserably arrogant bully for a good portion of my life (but I think I could deal, like sort through, that reckoning).

      Secondly, and this is the actual determining point, some years ago I went through a very real and observable recognizing of the struggle my manner, behavior, patterns was causing those around me and I began to police myself rather than to assert and defend myself. My wife, after years, taught me (unintentionally & unknowingly) that being kind is superior to being accurate . . . I still wrestle with an internal compulsion for preciseness, and I still too often find myself in the midst of a massive explanation and questioning and elaborating expedition, but I now (I think most of the time) catch myself and stop, pull back, and relinquish trusting that it's better to be kind than accurate.

      I still function often by rote, not really having a clue why others are so busy and urgent about certain things and so lax and disinterested in other things, I'm still 'the peculiar guy' at Bible studies, etc, but mildly offbeat and well liked not irritating. I think conducting myself with both a stunning consistency and an evident objectivity since childhood has permitted those closest to me, family, to recognize there is no belligerence aimed at anyone, but a genuine disconnect, and so I have been surrounded with love and patience . . . that, along with my wife's striking example of the basis and practice of relationships, have permitted me to self-resolve a good bit of things inside me.

      But, if there is anything I could do that might make things easier for those around me, and for myself, I'm not at all uncomfortable seeking that out. My sense is that I've come to manage my situation pretty well, but perhaps I could become more successful at that or do so with less of a struggle. Thank you so much for your time and attention, I very much appreciate it.

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile imageAUTHOR

      Patty Inglish MS 

      5 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

      Hi MIckeySr - I just went online again, so didn't see your post right away and I have my options set to "approve all commentsforst", because of the high level of spam I receive - shoes sales and such, lol). Anyway, there may be some benefit in receiving a diagnosis of Aspberger's, no matter what one's age, for many reasons --

      First, if you have questions about any possible condition, you would have a pretty firm answer, if a competent assessment were completed for you. At the same time, some other underlying physical condition might emerge instead, and might be addressed properly and eliminated -- That is always my first concern.

      Second, if symptoms of Asperberger's are causing you stress or difficulties in getting along with daily life, then a firm diagnosis might help. Some techniques for symptom management (if any behavior symptom is troublesome enough to warrant it) might be useful, no matter what your age, and could make your last 20, 30 or more years of life more enjoyable. A diagnoses should include the practitioner sitting with you and your family and explaining the workings of the condition to you all and how to understand and even deal with behaviors that are troublesome. Mind you, I don't like it when family and colleagues expect the client to change everything about himself; I don't think it's necessary. There are simply some ways of making life smoother, like using different types of communication phrasing, for instance (for the client and family, not just the client). Some practitioners also use medications in some cases - that may or may not be an option in your case and perhaps you do not want to take such medications.

      Third, I think we continue to build our personalities throughout our lives. Discovering Aspberger's in oneself later in life is part of that, in my opinion. You might discover some things you either want to change or to more greatly reinforce in your life after such an assessment. So, don't be railroaded by your circle into being assessed, diagnosed, and unkindly told to change - it sounds like many want you to be assessed, but perhaps they are concerned for your welfare.

      Fourth, even when we do not have Aspberger's, sometimes our communication patterns can suggest that we do have it, so an assessment is valuable in that case (just as many of us have symptoms of ADD after a long day at work and not eating). Another example that comes to mind in this is the quality of not readily bending to other peoples' opinions - these days, many of the public point to a person of strong convictions and ability to ignore manipulation as "Aspberger's", or to any display of anger as "ADD" or "Bi-Polar." Truly, there are a lot of people out there trying to practice psychiatry without a license - for entertainment and a feeling of importance, I think.

      I always enjoy reading your writing, MickeySr, and hope for your best in whatever decision you make about seeking out assessment.

      Best always,


    • MickeySr profile image


      5 years ago from Hershey, Pa.

      Patty, I hope you don't mind me asking you about this here - if you do, please don't hesitate to delete it . . . and if I see that you have deleted it, may I seek your counsel through private mail (I don't mean your private email account, but through the 'send Patty Inglish, MS an email' button on the fan mail page)?

      Everyone around me is very certain I have Asperger's Syndrome and it seems likely to me . . . these are people who have known me all my life and come to know me more recently, and include several people who work professionally with people diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome, and one who diagnoses patients himself. My own family doctor, general practitioner, has suggested it seems very possible to him.

      I've not sought out being examine and diagnosed because my impression, and just my impression (I've not researched this at all) is that there's not much real benefit, at nearly 60, to being so diagnosed. Am I mistaken on this, would it benefit my family and myself, I mean objectively, to obtain a diagnosis?

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile imageAUTHOR

      Patty Inglish MS 

      5 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

      Long time no see, someonewhoknows - thanks for visiting. I like your suggestions for congressional disorders!

      Probably some Congressmen have at least symptoms of the disorders we are discussing -- Maybe they can use their recent raises to get some help!

    • someonewhoknows profile image


      5 years ago from south and west of canada,north of ohio

      If there such a thing as Congressional FISCAL Denial Disorder C F D D I'm pretty sure some Congressmen have it. BTW I wonder if any congressmen or government employees have any of the disorders you mentioned.


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