Asperger’s Diagnosis Lumped in with ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) in new DSM V
Is Asperger’s just a mild version of Autism? Might this be the same as asking if irritability with low blood sugar is a mild version of Diabetes or if having heart disease and strokes are the same or just more severe endpoints along a continuum of arteriosclerosis?
There are numerous problems with the new DSM V classification of all Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) including Asperger’s as one group.
1. These diagnoses are based on a description of symptoms regardless of the cause, thus making this diagnosis does little to help with treatment.
2. Grouping together individuals who are barely functional with those who can succeed in college seems absurd.
3. Given that severity can be from mild ADD or ADHD (not included in the ASD group) to non-verbal, no eye contact, severe autism, it’s time to focus on real causes.
4. Since inborn errors of metabolism, mitochondria dysfunction, toxins and environmental exposures, and nutritional or nutrient deficiencies lead the list of known causes and when it’s genetic it is usually an epigenetic mechanism (hence the environment that is driving the genetic change), we would serve this important growing group of patients best by breaking this category apart and calling each disorder by it’s cause.
Just as numerous factors can lead to elevated homocysteine, and then combined with numerous factors you can develop arteriosclerosis and heart disease and then ultimately experience a heart attack or stroke. Labeling all these conditions in one big “poor circulation” group does little to help drill down on treatment and prevention.
The study (link below) shows that those with Asperger’s may have a unique EEG pattern, suggesting there may be a unique mechanism causing this condition. I do not see the advantage of including Asperger’s patients in the ASD category, but alas, we are stuck with it for at least a few years until the next version of the DSM is released.
Remember parents, the road to health, is in living with minimal toxin exposure (organic diet, filtered water, take supplements where needed, minimize stress, exercise) and for those suffering from specific health conditions, finding out everything you can about the causes. Any attempt to label and lump your child into a category, while helpful for research purposes, may not be in your child’s best interest. Find a doctor who understands individual health, and is going to work with you to determine causes, not just put your child on a revolving door of medications. Some medications can be a huge help while you pursue the real causes. Work to maximize your child’s health and function.