Edward Ritvo-Susan Swedo Shootout at
the IMFAR Corral, Sheraton, Toronto
Photo by Harold L Doherty, May 18, 2012
Dr. Susan Swedo of the DSM5 autism committee presented a defense of the proposed DSM5 Autism Spectrum Disorder twice yesterday at IMFAR in Toronto. After the second presentation I jumped up to the mike and asked about the exclusion of Intellectually Disabled under the exclusion wording "not otherwise accounted for by general developmental delays" in the wording for Mandatory Criterion A social communication categories. I was advised that some but not all ID would be excluded. A couple more questioners approached the mikes on both sides of the room including Dr. Edward Ritvo author of Understanding the Nature of Autism and Asperger's Disorder: Forty Years of Clinical Practice and Pioneering Research. Dr. Ritvo asked pointed questions about the risk-benefit analysis of introducing the new DSM5 ASD and did not appear happy with the answers he was getting from Dr. Swedo who switched the questioning to the other microphone where Dr. Marshalyn Yeargin-Allsopp was waiting to make a point. As a layperson, a parent autism advocate with concerns about the DSM5, I am happy that Dr. Ritvo added his prestige and expertise to the debate about the wisdom of the DSM5 autism do-over. I hope we hear more from Dr. Ritvo on this subject.