Following much discussion and extensive review by professionals, changes affecting the diagnostic criteria for autism in the 5th edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM 5) have been approved.
The DSM-5 is a guidebook used by clinicians and researchers to diagnose and classify mental disorders. It is produced by the American Psychiatric Association and used by professionals in the United States and many other countries.
The new version of the guidebook will incorporate several diagnoses from the previous version (called DSM-IV) into the diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder to help diagnose children with autism. The diagnoses that will now be classified under autism spectrum disorder include autistic disorder, Asperger’s disorder, childhood disintegrative disorder, and pervasive developmental disorder (not otherwise specified).