Budget Cuts May Prevent Schools from Accurate Assessments

By: David Jensen, LSCSW, Washburn University

Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) is the new name for four disorders that are actually a single condition with different levels of symptom severity in two core domains. ASD encompasses Autism Disorder, Asperger’s Disorder, Childhood Disintegrative Disorder, and Pervasive Development Disorder NOS.

ADS is characterized by deficits in social communication and social interactions; and restricted repetitive behaviors, interests, and activities (RRBs). Both components are required for a diagnosis of ASD.

  • Social Communication Disorder is diagnosed if no RRBs are present.
  • Dr. Allen Francis, former chair of the DSM IV-TR Task Force, wrote of his concerns about these changes in his December 2, 2012 Blog for Psychology Today. Dr. Francis indicated that the changes in the definition of Autism will result in lowered rates-10% according to estimates by the DSM-5 work group, perhaps 50% according to outside research groups. He shared that advocates for persons with types of autism like Asperger’s fear a disruption in needed school services.

Motor Disorders has been added as a section of Neurodevelopmental Disorders Chapter and include:

  • Developmental Coordination Disorder
  • Stereotypical Movement Disorder
  • Tourette’s Disorder
  • Persistent Motor or Vocal Tic Disorder
  • Provisional Tic Disorder
  • Other Specified Tic Disorders
  • Unspecified Tic Disorder

The Tic criteria have been standardized across all these disorders.

Communication Disorders

  •  DSM-5 Communication Disorders include Language Disorder (which combines DSM IV-TR Expressive and Mixed Receptive-Expressive Language Disorders), Speech Sound Disorders (a new name for Phonological Disorder), and Childhood-Onset Fluency Disorder (a new name for Stuttering).
  • Social (Pragmatic) Communication Disorder, a new condition for persistent difficulties in the social uses of verbal and non- verbal communication.
  • Because social communications deficits are one component of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), it is noted that Social (Pragmatic) Communication Disorder cannot be diagnosed in the presence of restricted repetitive behaviors, interests, and activities (the other component of ASD).
  • The symptoms of some people diagnosed with DM IV-TR Pervasive Developmental Disorder NOS may meet DSM-5 criteria for Social Communication Disorder


Click here to take a look at CEU’s DSM-5 Course


Allen, Francis (2012, December 2). Re: DSM 5 Is Guide Not Bible-Ignore Its Ten Worst Changes. Retrieved from http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/dsm5-in-distress/20:

American Psychiatric Association (2013). Highlights of Changes from DSM-IV to DSM-5, in Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth edition, (pp. 809-816). New York, NY: Author.

American Psychiatric Association, (2013), Highlights of Changes from DSM-IV-TR to DSM-5, Retrieved from http://www.dsm5.org/Documents/changes%20from%20dsm-iv-tr%20dsm-5.

Corcoran, Jacqueline and Joseph, Welch (2006), Social Work and the DSM: Person-in- Environment Versus the Medical Model, pp. 11-32, in Clinical Assessment and Diagnosis in

Social Work Practice, New York: Oxford University Press. Jensen, LSCSW, LCMFT, D. (2013). Competent diagnosing dsm iv-tr to dsm-5. (pp. 18-19).

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