February 11th, 2010
08:51 PM ET

Move to merge Asperger's, autism in diagnostic manual stirs debate

Elizabeth Landau

For Mary Calhoun Brown, the term "Asperger's" is crucial to conveying to schools that although her 15-year-old son has had social difficulties, he has a near-genius IQ and great speaking ability.

"If I call it 'autism,' that's going to raise a lot of red flags for people who don't know him," said Brown, author of the novel about autism "There Are No Words."

Both Brown and her son William are opposed to new guidelines being put forth by the American Psychiatric Association that would make Asperger's syndrome part of the autism spectrum disorders rather than a separate diagnosis. In the current edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, which helps mental health professionals identify specific conditions, it is not listed under autism.

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Filed under: Autism
soundoff (One Response)
  1. rosemarie

    I agree. It should be seperate. My nephew has Asberger's and is living a normal life.

    February 11, 2010 at 9:44 pm |