Check out the most recent interview with Dr. Gil Tippy on Thinking Person’s Guide to Autism‘s website, “Interview With Dr. Tippy: DSM 5 Autism Criteria: Clarifying Impact, Taking Action.” Here is an excerpt:
Interview with Dr. Gil Tippy
Clinical Director of The Rebecca School, Manhattan, New York
How are the DSM criteria for autism changing? From the official site:
“A single spectrum disorder [i.e., folding in Asperger Disorder and PDD-NOS] is a better reflection of the state of knowledge about pathology and clinical presentation; previously, the criteria were equivalent to trying to “cleave meatloaf at the joints.”
“Three domains become two:
1) Social/communication deficits
2) Fixated interests and repetitive behaviors
“[because] Deficits in communication and social behaviors are inseparable and more accurately considered as a single set of symptoms with contextual and environmental specificities.”
We spoke with Dr. Tippy about what the proposed revisions to the DSM 5 will mean for Autistics, autism families, and autism professionals. Dr. Tippy also outlined actions everyone in the autism communities can take to prevent these changes from cutting off critical autism services and support.
Why do you think people are so concerned about the DSM 5 changes?
It’s important to remember that these changes are not new news. They’ve been in process for the past four years, and these guideline changes have been posted publicly for the past 18 months. What has happened is that Dr. Fred Volkmar, who used to be on the committee but left the working group, decided to do a study to see how many kids diagnosed under the old criteria would meet the criteria for the new Autism Spectrum Disorder diagnostic category. His study concluded that some of the kids who previously were diagnosed with PDD-NOS and Asperger Disorder would no longer meet the criteria for Autism Spectrum Disorder. The working group that is developing the new criteria felt that [Volkmar's] study did not take into account that a good diagnostician, a good Clinical Psychologist for instance, would look carefully at the child in light of the new criteria, and then diagnose appropriately.
I have to say I agree with both sides of this disagreement. I think that no child or adult, previously diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder by a thoughtful clinical professional should worry that he or she, or their child, will not be diagnosed appropriately with the new criteria for Autism Spectrum Disorder. However, I do believe that there is plenty of reason to worry, and for raising the alarm, Dr. Volkmar is to be thanked.
To read the interview in full, visit Thinking Person’s Guide to Autism.