Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Asperger's syndrome to become Autism spectrum disorder?

Claudia Wallis does an article on the proposal to drop the name "Asperger's syndrome,' folding it, along with the term "pervasive developmental disorder" into the term "Autism spectrum disorder." The simple fact appears to be that "nobody has been able to show consistent differences between what clinicians diagnose as Asperger’s syndrome and what they diagnose as mild autistic disorder." The not so minor problem is that the general population views "Asperger's syndrome" more positively than autism, and the term has developed its own brand identity. "The Asperger’s diagnosis is used by health insurers, researchers, state agencies and schools — not to mention people with the disorder, many of whom proudly call themselves Aspies." On the other hand Ari Ne’eman, 21 - an activist who founded the Autistic Self-Advocacy Network, a 15-chapter organization he has built while in college - notes “My identity is attached to being on the autism spectrum, not some superior Asperger’s identity. I think the consolidation to one category of autism spectrum diagnosis will lead to better services.”

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