Article

Autism at 70--redrawing the boundaries.

Trent Center for Bioethics, Humanities, and History of Medicine, Duke University School of Medicine, Durham, NC, USA.
New England Journal of Medicine (Impact Factor: 54.42). 09/2013; 369(12):1089-91. DOI: 10.1056/NEJMp1306380
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Though the DSM-5 definition of autism refers to it as a spectrum, in important ways it represents an effort to define the syndrome more sharply. It thus reflects one of the central themes in the history of autism: a debate over where to set its boundaries. This year's revision of the diagnostic criteria for autism is among the most contentious of any in the new Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (the fifth edition, or DSM-5), provoking widespread fears among parents and advocacy groups that children who have received a diagnosis of autism will lose their eligibility for services. Coincidentally, this year also marks the 70th anniversary of psychiatrist Leo Kanner's first clinical description of autism in 1943.(1) Though the DSM-5 definition explicitly refers to autism as a spectrum, in important ways it represents an effort to define the syndrome more sharply. In this respect, ...

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