This review focuses on identifying up-to-date number of publications that compared DSM-IV/ICD-10 [International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems] Asperger’s disorder (AspD) to Autistic Disorder/High-functioning Autism (AD/HFA). One hundred and twenty-eight publications were identified through an extensive search of major electronic databases and journals. Based on more than 90 clinical variables been investigated, 94 publications concluded that there were statistically significant or near significant level of quantitative and/or qualitative differences between AspD and AD/HFA groups; 4 publications found both similarities and differences between the two groups; 30 publications concluded with no differences between the two groups. Although DSM-5 ASD will eliminate Asperger’s disorder. However, it is plausible to predict that the field of ASD would run full circle during the next decade or two and that AspD will be back in the next edition of DSM.At HealthDay, Lisa Esposito writes that the issue involves identity:
Some people with Asperger's syndrome "formed their first identity of normality within the group," said Liane Holliday Willey, senior editor of the Autism Spectrum Quarterly and an autism consultant in Grand Rapids, Mich. She has Asperger's.Erik Beras writes at WESA radio in Pittsburgh:
So does Brian King, an Illinois-based relationship coach and licensed clinical social worker. With the change, he said, "people who have embraced the Asperger's label are now thinking, 'I have an Asperger's support group. I call myself an Aspie. If you take that from me, who am I?'"
Luciana Randall, the director of the advocacy group Autism Connection of Pennsylvania, worries that this change might affect younger people currently diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome.
"It's similar, but these parents tend to think that they fought every step of the way," she said. "And if they fought to promote their child’s personality and skill level and abilities, they are doing this in school and scouting and church, synagogue, temple, whenever they are trying to break ground for their child and explain who they are it helps to have that book and article and explain this is Asperger's."
She said so many people with Asperger's cling to that identity of high intelligence and high skill levels. And that in some ways, even among those with Asperger's, there is a stigma to saying they have autism.
"Really a lot of this is sort of speculation because we haven’t had people diagnosed under the DSM 5 yet," she said.