How the New DSM Took My Syndrome Away
Man mourns demise of Asperger's to 'autism spectrum disorder'
By Kevin Spak, Newser User
Posted Dec 4, 2012 1:13 PM CST
If Asperger's was part of your identity, how would you feel about the DSM-V's redefinition?   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – Joshua Muggleton isn't just at peace with his Asperger's syndrome, it's become a part of his identity, a source of pride. "When I meet a fellow Aspie, I feel a sense of fraternity," he writes in the Guardian. "This person, unlike the other 99% of people, sees the world in the same way as me." There's just one problem: As far as the newly-released DSM-V is concerned, there's no longer such a thing as Asperger's syndrome. It's just part of the newly named "autism spectrum disorder."

As a psychologist, Muggleton is in a better place to accept this than most. "After looking at the research, I was forced to conclude that actually, the DSM-V is a big step in the right direction." There are potential downsides—the change might mean that many people will lose their diagnostic label altogether, cutting off access to essential support—but assuming doctors exercise due discretion, he's come to terms with the term's demise. "I feel we are opening up the fraternity of Aspie to our autistic friends." Click for Muggleton's full column.

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Showing 3 of 7 comments
Winston_Smith
Dec 4, 2012 3:10 PM CST
Though he's never been diagnosed to my knowledge, whenever I hear "Asperger's Syndrome" I think "someone who thinks and acts like Bill Gates."
Aelius
Dec 4, 2012 1:53 PM CST
Well, mental illness is defined as any variation (whether normal or abnormal) that results in objective impairment or subjective distress. Thus, many things which are a manifestation of normal variance in a population can still be considered disorders, like ADHD and Asperger's, the latter of which I suffer from. A lot of people have the misunderstanding that something can only be a disease/disorder when something has "gone wrong" in the body, like cancer or schizophrenia, and that's simply not true.
janelanejones
Dec 4, 2012 1:50 PM CST
it sucks because aspies are very different from severe cases autism.