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Saturday, March 20, 2010

On Asperger and DSM

In the Los Angeles Times, freelance writer Chris Woolston writes skeptically of the plan to fold Asperger into "autism spectrum disorder" in DSM-V. He has two sons, one with a diagnosis of Asperger, the other with autism. He sees a great deal of difference in their behavior. He adds:
Aspies aren't necessarily happy with the label change, either. Many embrace their diagnosis as part of their identity. Some even look down on "neurotypical" people and their boringly normal brains. Call them autistic and the sense of pride could vanish. My oldest son has told many teachers and classmates over the years about his Asperger's syndrome. But if he had been diagnosed as autistic, he would have likely kept the news to himself. "You don't want to tell people that you have autism," he says. "Asperger's at least sugarcoats it."