Three years ago today, I began what turned out to be a ten-post series about the new DSM 5 (it was never finished. There were meant to be at least three more parts.)

I am in the process of migrating posts from my old blog to this new one and I decided this series should be the next set of posts I move over here. Since it’s been three years, I will re-read everything I wrote and probably write an update post on this topic next week.

picture of book pages

DSM 5? I’m an open book about this book I’ve opened. [image description: photo of the pages of an opened book]

Autism and the DSM 5: Losing Your Diagnosis?
originally published September 16, 2013

Part 1: (you are here)
Part 2: Diagnostic Criteria: Section A
Part 3: Diagnostic Criteria: Section B
Part 4: Diagnostic Criteria: Section C
Part 5: Diagnostic Criteria: Section D
Part 6: Diagnostic Criteria: Section E and Severity Levels
Part 7: Development and Course: Part 1
Part 8: Development and Course: Part 2
Part 9: Development and Course: Part 3
Part 10: Development and Course: Part 4

I went to the medical library near my house and scanned the autism pages from the DSM 5. Last night I typed them out (I scanned with an iPad Mini so they didn’t look so great) and read it while I was typing.

I was floored by a lot of what I saw. And by floored, I mean good floored! I had no idea some of that stuff was in there. We (the Autism/Autistic Communities) were so worried about people losing their diagnoses that there wasn’t much talk about what else was in there.

Well, this post is the beginning of a series of posts about what the DSM 5 actually says. I will quote excerpts from it (it’s copyrighted so I can’t just share my scans with you all, much as I’d love to) and I will paraphrase other parts of it so that I don’t exceed fair use laws in my country. But if you stick with me for this whole series, by the end, you’ll pretty much know everything that’s in there. Including the actual diagnostic criteria!

Today I’m going to address the big fear about losing your diagnosis. The great news is that if you had a diagnosis, you still do! The DSM 5 does not take away anyone’s pre-existing diagnoses. So I’m still Autistic. 🙂

Here’s the actual text from the manual that addresses that issue (from page 51) and I’ll see you again in my next DSM post!

Note: Individuals with a well-established DSM-IV diagnosis of autistic disorder, Asperger’s disorder, or pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified should be given the diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder. Individuals who have marked deficits in social communication, but whose symptoms do not otherwise meet criteria for autism spectrum disorder, should be evaluated for social (pragmatic) communication disorder.