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Criteria D in the DSM-5's New Autism Spectrum Disorder: Limited and Impaired Everyday Functioning

Posted Jan 29 2011 1:46am

With the  January 26, 2011, revision of the  new Autism Spectrum Disorder category in the DSM-5 will some high functioning persons who currently have an Autism or Aspergers diagnosis  actually lose their autism diagnosis because they do not meet  criteria D,"limited and impaired daily functioning", of the 4 ASD mandatory criteria?



Autism Spectrum Disorder
Must meet criteria A, B, C, and D:
A.    Persistent deficits in social communication and social interaction across contexts, not accounted for by general developmental delays, and manifest by all 3 of the following:1.     Deficits in social-emotional reciprocity; ranging from abnormal social approach and failure of normal back and forth conversation through reduced sharing of interests, emotions, and affect and response to total lack of initiation of social interaction,2.     Deficits in nonverbal communicative behaviors used for social interaction; ranging from poorly integrated- verbal and nonverbal communication, through abnormalities in eye contact and body-language, or deficits in understanding and use of nonverbal communication, to total lack of facial expression or gestures.3.     Deficits in developing and maintaining relationships, appropriate to developmental level (beyond those with caregivers); ranging from difficulties adjusting behavior to suit different social contexts through difficulties in sharing imaginative play and  in making friends  to an apparent absence of interest in peopleB.    Restricted, repetitive patterns of behavior, interests, or activities as manifested by at least two of  the following:1.     Stereotyped or repetitive speech, motor movements, or use of objects; (such as simple motor stereotypies, echolalia, repetitive use of objects, or idiosyncratic phrases). 2.     Excessive adherence to routines, ritualized patterns of verbal or nonverbal behavior, or excessive resistance to change; (such as motoric rituals, insistence on same route or food, repetitive questioning or extreme distress at small changes).3.     Highly restricted, fixated interests that are abnormal in intensity or focus; (such as strong attachment to or preoccupation with unusual objects, excessively circumscribed or perseverative interests).4.     Hyper-or hypo-reactivity to sensory input or unusual interest in sensory aspects of environment; (such as apparent indifference to pain/heat/cold, adverse response to specific sounds or textures, excessive smelling or touching of objects, fascination with lights or spinning objects).C.    Symptoms must be present in early childhood (but may not become fully manifest until social demands exceed limited capacities)D.         Symptoms together limit and impair everyday functioning."
Will some well known, self described, autism self advocates lose their autism diagnosis when the DSM-5 is published?  Can persons capable of raising a family, performing in rock bands,  driving land rovers, running  successful businesses, serving on the boards and committees of organizations such as ASAN, Autism Speaks and the IACC, graduating with university degrees, appearing before high appellate courts and government committees, publishing books, conducting research, and appearing in print and broadcast media interviews truly be considered to be limited and impaired in their everyday functioning? Will ANY members of the ASAN Board of Directors be considered to be limited and impaired in their everyday functioning?

Look for some intense reaction to the limited and impaired everyday functioning requirement.  Do not be surprised to see a high pressure campaign to eliminate criteria D.
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