The American Psychiatric Association is planning to release their new edition of the “Diagnostic and Statistical Manual,” the bible of mental disorders. In it they have “reclassified” children with Pervasive Developmental Disorder and Asperger’s syndrome. These changes will jeopardize services provided for children, impair tracking progress of therapeutic interventions and disrupt research into the causes of the epidemic rise in PDD and autism-related problems that has spread around the world.
While the process of labeling symptoms and signs as if they are “diseases” is fundamentally misleading and cannot adequately describe the individual qualities of any child, it is the only way for children in our society to receive proper medical and educational services in a timely manner. Changing such labels “mid-stream” smacks of historical revisionism.