The American Psychiatric Association approves updates to Diagnostic and Statistical Manual

On December 1, the American Psychiatric Association (APA) announced that its Board of Trustees had approved its update to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM). The long anticipated 5th edition of the DSM includes changes that are very important to the intellectual and developmental disability community as numerous federal and state programs as well as private health insurance plans use it to determine eligibility for critical services and supports. As of today, the final language for the new diagnostic criteria has not been made publicly available, though it has been announced that the new diagnosis of “Autism Spectrum Disorder” will combine Asperger’s and Autism under one umbrella term. The Arc submitted comments to the APA in June expressing our concerns over this new term in addition to the proposed new term “intellectual developmental disorder”. The DSM-5 manual is scheduled for publication in May of 2013. Learn more about the new edition of the DSM.