I took the time yesterday to have a good read of the proposed new DSM V diagnostic criteria for autism. For those of you who haven’t come across the DSM before it stands for the catchy title ‘Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders’ published by the American Psychiatric Association. It is widely used across the globe in the diagnosis of all mental health conditions including autism. We are currently on version 4 (IV) of the DSM but version 5 (V) is due to be published next year.
The diagnostic criteria for autism in version 5 have been changed quite significantly to make them clearer and more practically useful. A severity rating has also been included and this is where I (and many others!) start to have concerns. Personally, I think the new diagnostic criteria are much clearer and will help resolve a lot of confusion over diagnosis. I am very worried, however, about the severity ratings which are vague and inconsistent with the diagnostic criteria.