I was at the clinic the other day with my son and the Dr. said something that caught my attention. In 2013, the powers that be will no longer recognize Aspergers Syndrome as we know it but rather clump it in together with Autism. I decided to do a little digging and this is what I came up with. The American Psychiatric Association has recommended that in May 2013 the deletion of Asperger’s disorder. A link to the site can be found here Elimination Of Aspergers By APA.
I have mixed feelings on this as it is lumping my son and other Aspies into a broad group. Aspergers is definitely part of the ASD family but to compare my son to someone who is low functioning would not be fair. I will use our good friend Dustin Hoffman from the movie Rainman as an example. Rainman’s social skills as an adult were severely lacking, constantly repeating the same phrases and very rigid routines. My son and many other Aspies I have seen do not share these characteristics to that extreme. Most Aspies do not qualify for many of the benefits a lower functioning autistic child might in the school system. I get that. My son has different needs. Social skills building and an understanding of his hidden disability are most important. Most Aspies including my son are “A” and “B” students and deserve to be in mainstream schooling. With the right teaching and parenting many Asperger children go on to lead successful lives if they are diagnosed early and get the proper help.
I guess I am looking at it from my simple perspective. If diabetes can have type 1 and type 2, and cancer comes in many forms…..from a milder case of skin cancer right to dangerous liver cancer. Why can we not have Asperger’s recognized as part of the Autism family instead of just lumping it all as Autism? I am sure the medical field would treat a light case of skin cancer far different than a severe case of liver cancer.
I guess we will have to wait and see how this will impact our children. I know if I was a parent in 2013 with a newly diagnosed child with Autism who in fact displayed all the traits of Asperger’s as we know it, I would feel cheated out of all the great resources that specifically apply to my Aspie child and getting him the help he needs. Just my two cents. I would appreciate any comments.