Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Autism? Should CNN Have Said Prime-time Television Tackles Aspergers not Autism?

I punched "autism" into the Twitter Search bar and one of the entries referenced a CNN Entertainment story titled "Prime-time television tackles autism".  When I saw the headline I assumed that the story referenced Aspergers not Autistic Disorder and I was right.  In movies or television, fiction eg. Boston Legal, or news Aspergers is the face of Autism while severely disabled, including intellectually disabled, persons with Autistic Disorder remain safely hidden out of sight ... and out of mind.

And of course US President Barack Obama's administration has seen fit to place a very high functioning University student with Aspergers,  who does not view autism as a medical disability, and presumes to speak on behalf of those severely disabled by Autistic Disorder when he claims that "WE" do not want to be cured,  on a national disability council and on the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee. At the same time the good doctors in charge of the DSM-5 are busy converting the alleged autism spectrum of disorders from the original Autistic Disorder into one consistent with High Functioning Autism and Aspergers.

Yes, the final step on the exclusion of those with Autistic Disorder and Intellectual Disability, comprising 75-80% of those with the current Autistic Disorder diagnosis, from the Autism diagnostic category  is well under way. with the creation of the New Autism Spectrum Disorder in the DSM-5.   

When  the DSM-5 autism revisions, and exclusion of low functioning persons with Autistic Disorder,  are complete no one will notice. They will be too busy watching characters with Aspergers on re-runs of Boston Legal and Parenthood.


Jennifer said...

There is a big difference and I don't know if should all be considered the same spectrum or not. My daughter has multiple sensory processing disorder. She sometimes exhibits asperger's tendencies but doesn't have asperger's. She is very high functioning and has a high IQ, so I don't know if she should be lumped into the spectrum or not. What do you think? SPD is being considered to be added to the DSM-V. She is in traditional OT and we have just finished Berard AIT - . We are also considering the Brain Balance Program - . Some of these therapies overlap with ASD because both are neuro-behavioral disorders.

walking said...

I completely disagree with your views on RDI, which is based on scientific research and, I believe, will have evidence accumulate now that the research on it is beginning.

BUT, on this topic, we are of one mind. When my daughter have a twenty-minute conversation with me and justify why she no longer needs therapy with good sound reasoning (like I earn $75,000 a year, he's my budget, I have a driver's license, I have several good friends, etc.), THEN I will agree with her that she no longer needs therapy!

It drives me crazy that a person who CAN live on their own and CAN express themselves dare to represent people who CANNOT. It does such a disservice to our children and parents who are swayed by their thinking will lower the bar for their children.

Kent Adams said...

Harold, at first I thought the DSM 5 was going to expand the disorder, but after reviewing a lot of the material, talking to some involved, I think its actually going and is intended to do the opposite. I'll have more thoughts on this and give the evidence as to why I think this is true soon. I think ND is going to be sorely disappointed with how the proposed changes will actually be constructed and used. Most if not all of the online AS community will disappear from the DSM 5.