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International Asperger’s Day


International Asperger’s Day falls on February 18th. This event, which aims to highlight the significance of Asperger syndrome for both society and individuals, also illustrates one of the many challenges to the newcomer trying to understand the autism spectrum. Such a person might reasonably assume that Asperger syndrome is a condition in its own right.

On the 18 June 2018, the World Health Organization (WHO) released its new International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11). The ICD catalogues different pathologies and conditions in order to provide a common language to inform and control their development, as well as comparing and sharing data following standard criteria between hospitals, regions and countries in different time periods. To do this, the diagnostic terms are converted into around 55 000 unique alphanumeric codes.

The ICD-11 updates the diagnostic criteria for autism, and is now more in line the DSM-5 (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) published in 2013 by the American Psychiatric Association. This is to say that it includes Asperger’s Syndrome, Childhood Disintegrative Disorder and certain other generalised developmental disorders, within the category of ‘Autism’.

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