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Possible Reasons for Greater Diagnosis

December 25, 2007

Many experts have made rather convincing cases for the increase in the number of diagnoses on the spectrum of autisms being largely due to:

  1. Expansions of the DSM criteria. These changes, especially with the addition of Asperger’s in 1994, have increased the numbers of persons being diagnosed with conditions on the spectrum of autisms.
  2. Separation of autism from childhood schizophrenia and schizoid personality disorder. Prior, to 1980, no one was officially diagnosed with autism (using DSM categories). Those with conditions on the autism spectrum, like myself, were either diagnosed with schizophrenia, childhood type, if they were children, or with schizoid personality disorder, if they were adults.
  3. Qualifications. The fact that therapists have become increasingly familiar with the autism spectrum, and that more of them have become qualified to diagnose in this area.
  4. Over-diagnosis. Some people have suggested that, because of the increasing popularity of Asperger’s as a diagnostic category, more people have been diagnosed with the condition than is actually justified from their symptoms.
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