Autism Specifics Press Release, April 1, 2020:
Autism Specifics President "Aristotle" Newman and ASAN President Dr. Jerry Dobson will be jointly reflecting today on important events in the autism world during the past year.
1. First anniversary of DSM5.13 This year marked the first year since the DSM5 that a revised edition of the DSM5 has endured an entire year without being modified. Changes introduced by the classic, original DSM5 were revolutionary, particularly with the steps taken to exclude the intellectually disabled from the autism spectrum, but revisions were introduced periodically to deal with oversights in the classic edition. Previous revisions of the DSM5 had seen repeated tinkering with the somewhat unclear Intellectual Disability exclusion language. With the DSM5.13 changes finally and clearly excluding anyone with an intellectual disability the latest revision has remained unchanged for a full year!
2. Autism Rising Debate Is Over. Some had argued that the frequent revisions to the DSM5 had rendered epidemiological studies useless in determining whether autism was really increasing or whether autism diagnoses were more numerous because of enhanced awareness. While others did not hold to that view the debate became irrelevant as each revision created greater specific awareness of what really constitutes autism. With each such revision the APA, Autism Specifics (formerly Autism Speaks) and ASAN all came to agree that since our knowledge of autism is now more specific there is just no point in fussing over whether it is increasing since we are after all starting over again in our understanding of autism.
3. Autism Is Not A Disorder Debate Settled. With the latest revision to the DSM5, with the full and final exclusion of the intellectually disabled, we now clearly understand that autism is not now and never was a disorder or grouping of disorders or symptoms. Autism, in the words of Saint Estee, is a Joy. It is a culture of people with exceptional scientific, literary and artistic talents. The old DSM5 language Autism Spectrum Disorder is now known as Autism Spectrum Culture.
4. Research and Treatment Update. With the end of the constant search for causes of autism now that we know it is not a disorder the millions of dollars spent on genetic autism research and several thousand dollars spent on possible environmental causes of autism can be directed elsewhere. Likewise treatment is unnecessary in the full realization that autism is not a disorder. These monies can now be directed to autism awareness projects celebrating our enhanced awareness of he Autistic Symphony.
5. End of the Aspergers Revolutionary War. Another heated debate has ended with the end of the Aspergers Revolutionary War, the online struggle between those who fought the removal of the Aspergers Syndrome diagnosis from the DSM5 and those who thought it was part of a greater good. With the full and final exclusion from the autism spectrum of the intellectually disabled the Asperger's Revolutionary Army members realized that Aspergers had not been removed at all, that autism as now defined is simply Aspergers with a new name: Autism Spectrum Culture. As part of the peace treaty to end the war the AR Army warriors agreed with the APA, AS and ASAN to consider the possibility of renaming the Autism Spectrum Culture in the DSM5.14, changing it to Aspergers Spectrum Culture.