Tuesday, November 3, 2009

A Rose, By Any Other Name

In today’s New York Times, there is an article about removing the diagnosis of Asperger’s syndrome from the next edition (due out in 2012) of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders. Asperger’s, pervasive developmental disorder, nonverbal learning disorder (itself a new entry) would be folded into one broad diagnosis of “autism spectrum disorder,” with varying degrees of gravity, from “high-functioning to profoundly disabling.” Such a move would have far-reaching implications, not the least of which is from the perspectives of insurance coverage and school services.

I bring this up only because it was topical today. Whether a child has Asperger’s, NLD, PDD, or has a “mild autistic disorder" does not change the fact that these children will be better able to achieve if they are given certain specific strategies to overcome the difficulties of a learning disability, and especially a learning disability that impinges on social interactions.

At some point, I’d like to be able to incorporate comments from readers, including parents and young adults with an autism spectrum disability. This is a forum that does not require pre-approvals or co-pays.

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