Saturday, July 18, 2015

Autism Spectrum Disorder and the Social Work Exam

Among the big changes in DSM-5 is the arrival of a new diagnosis, autism spectrum disorder. Exam prepping? It's probably wise to get this new diagnosis a little understood. It's a bright shiny object, likely irresistible to exam writers penning the first couple of waves of DSM-5-based licensing exams.

Wikipedia summarizes:
The new diagnosis encompasses previous diagnoses of autistic disorder, Asperger's disorder, childhood disintegrative disorder, and PDD-NOS. Rather than categorizing these diagnoses, the DSM-5 will adopt a dimensional approach to diagnosing disorders that fall underneath the autism spectrum umbrella. It is thought that individuals with ASDs are best represented as a single diagnostic category because they demonstrate similar types of symptoms and are better differentiated by clinical specifiers (i.e., dimensions of severity) and associated features (i.e., known genetic disorders, epilepsy and intellectual disability). An additional change to the DSM includes collapsing social and communication deficits into one domain. Thus, an individual with an ASD diagnosis will be described in terms of severity of social communication symptoms, severity of fixated or restricted behaviors or interests and associated features. The restriction of onset age has also been loosened from 3 years of age to "early developmental period", with a note that symptoms may manifest later when demands exceed capabilities.
Everything else you need to know--and lots more--available at these sites (and many others);

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