To Members of the Asperger Community:
As you have probably heard, this past weekend, the American Psychiatric Association approved the most recent version of the DSM-5 which eliminates the diagnosis of Asperger Syndrome and subsumes it under the Autism Spectrum Disorder diagnosis.
Although we have fought long and hard against this change, we now know that this change will definitely take place this spring when the new manual will be published. We are still unsure if Asperger Syndrome is mentioned in the DSM-5 narrative and whether the community will continue to use the term Asperger Syndrome or if it will stop being used.
Along with you, we will be working hard to figure out what this means for those who now have the AS diagnosis. For people who currently have an official diagnosis of AS, we understand that their new diagnosis will automatically change to ASD. We are concerned about their access to benefits and accommodations and also how they will find a compatible community. For people who are as yet undiagnosed, our concerns also include the possible exclusion of a percentage of people from getting any diagnosis, that some individuals with AS may get diagnosis of Social Communication Disorder which may not describe their full neurological complexity, or provide access to needed educational or support services. We will be examining closely what this change means in terms of accessing support and accommodation through insurance, an IEP, and the ADA. There are additional issues that need discussion, such as disclosure of the new diagnosis to your child.
Of course, since Asperger Syndrome is part of our name, we will also be thinking of how to proceed so that people who need us, can find us.
Whatever the outcome, AANE will still be here to serve those people who can use our help.
Asperger's Association of New England