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Schizoid Disorder of Childhood or Adolescence

May 25, 2008

To my understanding, the situation has been rather complex. The DSM-III was the first version of the DSM not to treat autism in children as a manifestation of childhood schizophrenia (which is how I was diagnosed in the 1960s – complete with ECTs/shock treatments in 1967):

“Some believe that Infantile Autism is the earliest form of Schizophrenia, whereas others believe that they are two distinct conditions. However, there is apparently no increased incidence of Schizophrenia in the families of children with Infantile Autism, which supports the hypothesis that the two disorders are unrelated.”

The folks who edited the DSM-III were aware of Asperger’s work, but they decided to create two different categories – schizoid disorder of childhood or adolescence (not to be confused with schizoid personality disorder) and infantile autism:

“Diagnostic criteria for Infantile Autism
A. Onset before 30 months of age.
B. Pervasive lack of responsiveness to other people (awiisiH). C. Gross deficits in language development
D. If speech; is present, peculiar speech patterns such arimmediate and delayed echolatia, rnetaphorical langyage, pronominal reversal
E. Bizarre responses to various aspects of the environment, e.g., resistance to change, peculiar interest in or attachments to animate or inanimate objects.
F. Absence of delusions, hallucinations, loosening of associations, and incoherence as in Schizophrenia.”

The ICD-10, for instance, continues to regard “schizoid disorder of childhood” as an alternate term for Asperger’s syndrome:

“F84.5 Asperger’s syndrome
A disorder of uncertain nosological validity, characterized by the same type of qualitative abnormalities of reciprocal social interaction that typify autism, together with a restricted, stereotyped, repetitive repertoire of interests and activities. It differs from autism primarily in the fact that there is no general delay or retardation in language or in cognitive development. This disorder is often associated with marked clumsiness. There is a strong tendency for the abnormalities to persist into adolescence and adult life. Psychotic episodes occasionally occur in early adult life.
Autistic psychopathy
Schizoid disorder of childhood”

The use of the term “introverted disorder of childhood” in the ICD-9 and “schizoid disorder of childhood or adolescence” in the DSM-III were largely based on terminology used by various individuals, including G.E. Ssucharewa and Sula Wolf.

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