In comparison to the previous edition DSM-IV-TR, DSM-5 sets a stricter standard to diagnose autism spectrum disorder (ASD). For example, in DSM-IV-TR, there is no need to meet the criteria of having repetitive or stereotyped behaviors while it’s the prerequisite for the current diagnosis. The second major change is that DSM-5 lumps together autism disorder (AD), Asperger syndrome and Pervasive developmental Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS) into one category of ASD, which formerly were three separate classifications. Additionally, DSM-5 introduces social communication disorder (SCD) as a new diagnosis category. Another notable difference lies in the principles of ASD diagnosis. Instead of using a triad of core symptoms (impairments in social interaction, impairments in communication, and manifestation of repetitive behaviors), DSM-5 uses a dual-symptom approach (deficits in social communication, and repetitive or stereotyped behaviors) [2, 3, 4].
In order to evaluate the new diagnostic manual, we should first clarify the goal of medical classification. Firstly, disease classification must accurately reflect the nosography or phenotype of a particular disease in order to help patients or health professi...
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...eveloped jet, the children who are newly diagnosed with SCD will miss their appropriate treatments. Additionally, to the patients diagnosed with ASD under DSM-5, they still face problems. By dropping categories of Asperger syndrome and PDD-NOS, DSM-5 treats these patients equally with autism disorder (AD) patients where AD is a more severe form of ASD. This equivocal term may lead to under-treatment of AD and over-treatment of Asperger syndrome and PDD-NOS patients. To alleviate these issues, more research needs to be done to reveal the true validity of the new approach and provide solutions. For example, low sensitivity of DSM-5 could be rectified by reducing one or more symptoms criteria . For autistic children and their families, new appropriate treatments and accessible services should be provided as soon as possible in order to improve their quality of life.
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