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The Cow Says Moo  

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What are Autism Spectrum Disorder Specifiers?

Posted on August 26, 2013 at 9:55 AM

In May 2013 the American Psychiatric Association published its most recent edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM). The DSM is used by clinicians and psychiatrists to diagnose mental health disorders, including Autism Spectrum Disorder.  With the release of this latest edition (DSM-V), the previously three separate categories of Autistic Disorder, PDDNOS and Asperger's Syndrome were eliminated and combined under the one term Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). 


In addition to this change, a diagnosis of ASD will now include severity levels, referred to as specifiers, which are based on the amount of support an individual will need due to challenges with social communication and restricted interests and repetitive behaviors.  Co-occurring conditions will also likely impact the assigned severity level.  There are three severity levels, detailed in the following table:

DSM-5 Table of Severity Descriptors

Social Communication Disorder

Posted on August 19, 2013 at 9:25 AM Comments comments (0)

In May 2013 the American Psychiatric Association published its most recent edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM).  The DSM is used by clinicians and psychiatrists to diagnose mental health disorders.  Included in this latest edition (DSM-V) is the new diagnostic category of Social Communication Disorder (SCD).  It is targeted to children who have difficulty in the social use of language (pragmatics) that impacts comprehension and social skills.  In order to meet the criteria for SCD, the difficulty cannot be the result of delayed cognition or other language delays.  Unlike children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) who also present with language pragmatics deficits, children diagnosed with SCD will not have met the criteria of restricted interests or repetitive behaviors necessary for a diagnosis of ASD.