Posted by: myautisticmuslimchild | July 9, 2011

DSM V and Autism, Will It Help or Hurt?

I been wanting to write about this issue for a while, but I was in a state of disbelief, and shock when all these news started to come out.

I am sure everyone who knows about autism, or caring for an autistic child read about this already.   Some of these revision can potentially result in loss of services for the children. In their tender age when every day counts to have a chance to get better, and acquire new skills, they might not get their services because of the new definition of their diagnosis.

At present time the diagnosis of Autism disorder is made when the child displays 6 or more of the 12 symptoms across three  major areas …

behavior (like repetitive preoccupations of areas of interest with abnormal intensity)

communication (absence of language, or language delays)

social interaction (unable to interact or maintain relationship)

In the new version of DSM  if the children exhibit  some of the behaviors but does not meet the criteria they may be diagnosed with PDD NOSAspergers , Rett syndrome, or childhood disintegrative disorder.

As we all know  Rett syndrome, Aspergers, and PDD NOS will be removed from DSM V.  Speech delays will not be  a must for diagnosis, but sensory issues can be added . DSM V  is being developed by a group of mental health  professionals. The new version that said to come out in 2013,  propose the severity levels of autism.

How can one evaluation define if an ASD child

1). Requiring support

2)’ Requiring substantial support

3). Requiring very substantial support.

This part I am very skeptical about, because as we all know with our ASD kids,  their behavior changes by the minute. So it seems like there will be times when these severity levels will be based on some ones opinion. My son might have a wonderful morning , but can be very hard to  manage for the rest of the day. Depending on  different circumstance, or  he might be unmanageable during the time of evaluation which last  only a few hrs, and he will be fine  for the rest of the day. The last case scenario is OK, because he would fall into a category of ” requiring substantial support”  which will allow him to get the services he needs, and more possibly. But the first case scenario can be detrimental for the child who might not get the services they require otherwise.

I agree there are occasions that even the blind can see that this individual requires very substantial support, but most times a 2 hrs evaluation will not do justice with these categorization of the severity of autism.

My only, but very valid concern is, how will these changes affect my son’s services? Will he be able to receive his therapies, or it will be eliminated or reduced? I think most parents keeping a watchful eyes on these revisions, and might be feeling somewhat uneasy about it.

As always I have to exercise optimism, and believe that these mental health professionals will have our children’s best interest in their mind, and not looking to save money for the insurance companies.

One can only hope.


  1. If his current dx says “autism” on it you won’t have to do anything. It’s those that do not use the word “autism” in their dx’s that have problems. Both of my boys’ dx’s says “autism” in them so I don’t anticipate any problems.

  2. This is the first i’ve heard of it and the thought of it just makes me cringe. We have a system in the UK for disability (basically welfare) benefits and they also go through a kind of assessment whereby a Dr or nurse sees the person for about 20 mins and on the basis of that visit makes a decision as to whether the person is entitled to support or not. Many people with fluctuating and variable conditions have said this is incredibly unfair as a short token visit really wont give an adequate picture of their needs and what you’re describing sounds very similar.

    I do not share your optimism at all because I know many many people who are unfairly turned down for benefits and there appear to even be government incentives to turn people down in order to save money. I hope for your sake that I am wrong about this.


    • Salams neelu, I be honest with you i am not at all optimistic. it might sound that way, which i was not intended. It is very disturbing, and if things will be changed it will be incredibly unfair for the patients and their families. One positive things for me and parents who’s kids are already diagnosed… those stay the same, at least for now. We shall see what new things they will come up with.
      Thank you for your input, as always it is very valuable.

  3. I am so happy to have found this site! I was doing a search on autism and juicing which led me here. I have two sons, a three year old with autism and a 16 month old who has started to show some subtle signs of autism. In our experience with autism we seem to be dealing with a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Long before I had children I began to lose hope in the mercy of God. Surprisingly, the gift of autism has driven me to the very edge of despair but instead of destroying the little hope I had it has allowed me to believe again in the goodness of God. Although I am not a Muslim I would love to follow this blog as it approaches the reality of autism from the perspective of faith. I lived for two years in Amman, Jordan and very much miss the wonderful people and culture. Unfortunately I found the language as difficult (though beautiful) as my nonverbal son seems to find English.. =) I’m sure I appeared somewhat autistic to the average Jordanian but they were all very kind and patient with me. Thank you for taking your personal struggles and using them to serve your community. May Allah bless the work of your hands!

    • I am glad you found this blog. It is for everyone that are interested muslim or not. I am happy that you found it interesting and useful as well

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: