It’s been five years since the autism community agonized over the debut of a new iteration of a diagnostic manual that set out to rewrite the definition of autism.
Diagnosing autism is an evolving science but a crucial first step to understanding the disorder.
Don’t judge this book by its decidedly dull cover: Across its pages, some of the most dramatic changes in the history of autism have played out. This short animation chronicles how a diagnostic manual has defined and redefined autism over the years.
The DSM-5 acknowledges how gender shapes autism more than any previous diagnostic manual has, but it’s time to fold in a few new findings.
From a form of childhood schizophrenia to a spectrum of conditions, the characterization of autism in diagnostic manuals has a complicated history.
A 2013 initiative to find biological roots for mental health diagnoses still has broad appeal, but has not produced a dramatic shift in autism research.
The move to replace ‘mental retardation’ with ‘intellectual disability’ is widely accepted, but little data exist on the impact of this change.
Our concept of autism has evolved over the past 20 years, rendering redundant the diagnostic labels of Asperger syndrome and pervasive developmental disorder-not otherwise specified.
Children with autism typically have four or five other conditions, such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, that can affect when they are diagnosed.
People on the spectrum often have subtle problems using language or making facial expressions. Pinpointing where those difficulties originate may help ease their social communication.