Monday, November 01, 2010

Autism is a Mental Disorder for Which Cures Should be Sought

About DSM-5 

Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) is the standard classification of mental disorders used by mental health professionals in the United States and contains a listing of diagnostic criteria for every psychiatric disorder recognized by the U.S. healthcare system.

Autism is, by definition, a mental disorder. Autism is, by definition a psychiatric disorder. 

These autism realities are often ignored in the attempt by some persons to claim that they speak on behalf of persons with autism.  These same persons, purporting to speak on behalf of all persons with autism disorders, claim that "THEY" do not want to be cured.
The politicking involved in maintaining the impossible position of speaking for all persons with a mental disorder is challenging even with the backing of the New York(er) magazine and the IACC. Flip flopping is  frequent with discussion focusing on autism as a socially imposed disability rather than a mental or psychiatric disorder. The same "autism spokespersons" who purport to speak on behalf of people with mental disorder diagnoses avoid like the plague any mention of autism as ...... a mental disorder.  Although they embrace the autism label, a diagnostic category in the DSM they make no mention of what it actually is ... a mental disorder.  

A social disability, a way of life, a culture, a different way of thinking, a different part of a neurodiverse existence. All of these things for sure but not a mental disorder.  And they want me to reject what I know about my son's Autistic Disorder, his mental disorder, based on 14 years of living with him, caring for him, loving him .....  in favor of the views of some adult diagnosed persons views who do not know my son and  who do not acknowledge the reality of their own diagnoses?

Today is a day on which some in the online autism world are shutting down social communication in an attempt to draw attention to communication deficits suffered by persons with autism. It is an interesting idea and I hope it creates some buzz even though I am not participating. 

I have long ago chosen to speak out about autism disorders and on this day I choose to go back to basics and point out a basic that is becoming more and more obscured ... autism is a mental disorder.  It is a mental disorder which imposes severe life restrictions on many who suffer from it and can not drive Land Rovers, operate successful businesses, play in rock bands, attend colleges for gifted youth or work as researchers with prominent high functioning autism experts. 

Autism is a mental disorder for which we must not stop trying to find treatments and cures to improve the lives of those who suffer from the disorder. 


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mental health

Most people with a mood disorder suffer from a clinical unipolar depression, and they return to a normal or nearly normal mood when the depression lifts