DSM-IV vs DSM-5 – New Study – Not Good News

DSM-IV vs DSM-5 diagnostic criteria for toddlers with Autism.


To evaluate prevalence rates of autism and autism symptomatology in toddlers using DSM-IV vs DSM-5 criteria. Method: Two thousand seven hundred and twenty-one toddlers at risk for a developmental disability participated. DSM-IV and DSM-5 criteria were applied and overall prevalence using each set of criteria was established. Groups were also compared on BISCUIT-Part 1 scores to determine if groups differed on autism symptomatology.

Results: DSM-5 resulted in 47.79% fewer toddlers being diagnosed with ASD compared to those on the DSM-IV. Toddlers diagnosed according to DSM-5 exhibited greater levels of autism symptomatology than those diagnosed with DSM-IV, but the latter group still exhibited significant levels of autism symptomatology.

Conclusion: The proposed DSM-5 will result in far fewer persons being diagnosed with ASD. These results replicate findings from two previous studies, with older children/adolescents and adults. As a result of these new criteria, far fewer people will qualify for needed autism services.

Although it is not the intention of this blog to buy into “political matters’ this one is to important for the ASD community for me to allow it to pass without comment.

Not particularly good news for families or the communities, that do such a good job looking after ASD children in any number of ways. It is my personal opinion and personal comment that medical practitioners are already under some pressure in applying an ASD diagnosis. I cannot help but feel that this will have very large ripple effect, mainly negatively,  on family stress and how families cope with that stress,  as services are unable to be accessed due to financial strains.

If someone would or could outline the benefits I would be happy for them to present their arguments here. Perhaps I’m wrong.

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