Last year a new edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) was published. Doctors use the criteria in this manual when they diagnose mental health disorders. The manual is published by the American Psychiatric Association.
This 5th edition of the DSM includes significant changes in the criteria used to diagnose autism. As part of these changes, Asperger's Syndrome is no longer a separate diagnosis. Instead the current manual "combines four independent diagnoses — autistic disorder, Asperger syndrome, pervasive developmental disorder-not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS) and childhood disintegrative disorder — into a single label of autism spectrum disorder."
The National Institutes for Health (NIH) spends millions of dollars on research related to autism. Because of this investment, the NIH is conducting research on the changes made in the DSM-5. Specifically, the NIH wants "input about the implications of changes in ASD diagnostic criteria for autism research, as well as input into the potential for research to inform concerns and questions related to clinical practice and policy".
If you have information about the changes in the DSM-5 that you would like to share or if you want to learn more about this research click here. The deadline for submissions is May 12.