Jun 20, 2012 --- This manual, a publication of the American Psychiatric Association (APA), is in the process of being updated. The APA received a great deal of input over its effort to redefine autism, and redefine what was formerly called mental retardation, in the course of preparing its new manual (DSM-5). In fact, input reached a level that prompted the APA to reopen public comment with respect to DSM-5.

The Autism Society is concerned that the new definition in DSM-5 for autism will be narrowed to the point that service providers and insurance companies will be able to reevaluate individuals previously diagnosed as autistic and deem them no longer qualified for services. More information on the Autism Societys position with respect to this matter can be found on the internet at: http://www.autism-society.org/news/an-update-on-the-dsm-5.html

The American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AAIDD) was founded in 1876 and is the oldest professional society to focus on what was previously called mental retardation and is now being called intellectual developmental disorder. AAIDD is concerned with how the APA has proposed to define intellectual developmental disorder. The Executive Director for AAIDD has stated that It would be disastrous from a public policy and service eligibility perspective should the APA finalize DSM-5 with terminology and definition [for intellectual developmental disorder] that is inconsistent with AAIDD. More information on AAIDDs position with respect to this matter can be found on the internet at: http://www.aaidd.org (click on Announcements).

See Read the Autism Society's Position on DSM