What Autism Spectrum Features are relevant to ask about?

I was not really planning on writing anything about any of these research questions now. But I think I wanted to look at this one piece of information that I did receive over the last few hours.

I received this photograph of a page from one of the MindFreedom Nelson members.

Asperger's Disorder - Diagnostic Critera

This is the Diagnostic Criteria from the DSM-IV for Asperger’s Disorder. This was sent to me by Bryhre Cormack

DSM-IV – Asperger’s Disorder – Diagnostic Criteria

I received the above photograph and am going to look at these criteria from the DSM-IV.  Due to the large price differential between DSM volumes prior to  DSM-5 we most likely will be using texts earlier than that for now.  There is an intention to buy the DSM-5 in the near future if there is support on the site to continue this kind of research.

  1. Qualitative impairment in social interaction, as manifested by at least two of the following:
    1. marked impairment in the use of multiple nonverbal behaviours such as eye-to-eye gaze, facial expression, body postures, and gestures to regulate social interaction
    2. failure to develop peer relationships appropriate to developmental level
    3. a lack of spontaneous seeking to share enjoyment, interests, or achievements with other people (e.g., by a lack of showing, bringing, or pointing out objects of interest to other people)
    4. lack of social or emotional reciprocity
  2. Restricted repetitive and stereotyped patterns of behaviour, interests, and activities as manifested by at least one of the following:
    1. encompassing preoccupation with one or more stereotyped and restricted patterns of interest that is abnormal either in intensity or focus
    2. apparently inflexible adherence to specific, nonfunctional routines or rituals
    3. stereotyped and repetitive motor mannerisms (e.g. hand or finger flapping or twisting, or complex whole-body movements)
    4. persistent preoccupation with parts of objects
  3. The disturbance causes clinically significant impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning.
  4. There is no clinically significant general delay in language (e.g., single words used by 2 years, communicative phrases used by age 3 years).
  5. There is no clinically significant delay in cognitive development or in the development of age-appropriate self-help skills, adaptive behaviour (other than in social interaction), and curiosity about the environment in childhood.
  6. Criteria are not met for another specific Pervasive Developmental Disorder or Schizophrenia.

This points to a number of traits that would need to be looked at for terms of assessment, simply for these criteria.  The way this is displayed (I hope to fix this, but quick fix didn’t work), is the opposite of what I have in the image, so I will refer to “top” and “second level” tags so hopefully they can be understood despite different formatting.

The first two top categories (and the second level elements contained in them) are relatively straight forward.  This may in the future lead to further looking at this, but for now, those are easy to understand.

The third top-level item, about “presence of clinically significant impairment” will require further understanding.

The fourth top-level item, about “lack of clinically significant delay in language” will also require further investigation.

The fifth top-level item really needs very much exploration in the future.

The sixth top-level item, will require looking at the other pervasive developmental disorders, and schizophrenia diagnoses.

This appears to lead to the following questions needing to be answered:

  • What is a clinically significant impairment in social, occupational, or other important area of functioning?
  • What is a clinically significant general delay in language?
  • What is a clinically significant delay in cognitive development or the development of age-appropriate self-help skills, adaptive behaviour, and curiosity about the environment?
  • What are the specific Pervasive Developmental Disorders?
  • What are the diagnostic criteria for Schizophrenia?
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  1. Posted 2015 November 29 at 18:48 | Permalink

    I did not have 1a or 1c, had significant language issues (#4) but an incredible catchup (not speaking until age 3, zabut reading at 4 and ahead of my class intellectually after that) and my emotional skills never caught up and are still impaired in some areas.

    • Jigme Datse Yli-Rasku
      Posted 2015 November 29 at 19:13 | Permalink

      I’m not sure where that might put you. This is only one of I think 4 “Pervasive Developmental Disorders” that was in the DSM-IV. It seems likely that somehow you would have been diagnosed as one of the others (if you even got any diagnosis) but in a way, I think if possible it may be preferable to *not* be diagnosed formally.

  2. Posted 2016 December 6 at 16:52 | Permalink

    Interesting read Jigme. I did not even know this was here. Curious about you saying it might be preferable to not be diagnosed. I have not been diagnosed with any autism spectrum condition. Any collection of beliefs or categories of attributes that someone else or we ourselves use to describe us can serve the purpose of assisting us in finding like minded people or accessing services. However, often the person who is assessed and thus labelled finds the process dehumanizing/disempowering. In some situations, individuals are left feeling even more isolated/unable to find help that is appropriate and accessible according to their self assessed needs rather than the assessed needs identified based on the categories of the DSM.

    • Jigme Datse Yli-Rasku
      Posted 2016 December 6 at 17:12 | Permalink

      Most of this type of content is ending up on the Open Psychology Project website at http://openpsychology.net/ now. I need to think more about what you said here.