On Saturday, Dec. 1, 2012, the board of trustees of the American Psychiatric Association voted in Washington, D.C., that the term “dyslexia” will be eliminated from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5).
According to Saturday’s The Seattle Times report, “Board members were tightlipped about the update, but its impact will be huge, affecting millions of children and adults worldwide.”
Eliminating the term “dyslexia” from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) has major implications for students with dyslexia.
Dr. Mark Olfson, a Columbia University psychiatry professor who was not a member of the team involved in the development of the new DSM-5 said that the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders “defines what constellations of symptoms health care professionals recognize as mental disorders and more importantly … shapes who will receive what treatment. Even seemingly subtle changes to the criteria can have substantial effects on patterns of care.”
The American Psychiatric Association intends to eliminate the term “dyslexia” and to incorporate it in a broader learning disorder category.
Such a change will affect a dyslexic child’s chance of a correct diagnosis, proper treatment, adequate special education services, and legal rights.
The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders is also a guideline for insurances in deciding what treatments will be paid for.
This fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders is the first major revised manual since 1994. In 2000, only minor changes were made to the manual.
The DSM-5 is scheduled to be published in May 2013.
Besides dyslexia, Asperger’s disorder will be eliminated from the new manual. Frequent and severe temper tantrums will be called a mental illness.
As of Dec. 1, 2012, the Yale Center for Dyslexia and Creativity has collected 8,629 supporters for their petition DSM-5 Committee: Include Dyslexia as a Specific Diagnosis in the DSM-5 Manual.
Only 1,370 more supporters are needed.
At 3 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 1, 2012, Psychiatric News Alert sent out an e-mail alert in regard to “APA Board of Trustees Approves DSM-5.”
To read the pdf file containing “A Message From APA President Dilip Jeste, M.D., on DSM-5 December 1, 2012” click here.
The Psychiatric News Alert can be read by clicking here.
For more information about the people behind the DSM-5, their background and motivation, please read the article ‘Dyslexia Alert ‘: No more dyslexia diagnosis, dyslexia rights in DSM-5.
Update: As of 9 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 1, 2012, there are conflicting reports by the media about the term “dyslexia” and whether or not “dyslexia” is specifically included in DSM-5. Many media reports contain the same sentences,
“The now familiar term “Asperger’s disorder” is being dropped. And abnormally bad and frequent temper tantrums will be given a scientific-sounding diagnosis called DMDD. But “dyslexia” and other learning disorders remain … People with dyslexia also were closely watching for the new updated doctors’ guide. Many with the reading disorder did not want their diagnosis to be dropped. And it won’t be. Instead, the new manual will have a broader learning disorder category to cover several conditions including dyslexia, which causes difficulty understanding letters and recognizing written words.” (AP)
As of Saturday night, however, it has not been confirmed by the APA or the Yale Center that the term “dyslexia” is being kept in the May 2013 publication of the DSM-5. The most Recent Updates to Proposed Revisions for DSM-5 states that,
“Learning Disorder has been changed to Specific Learning Disorder and the previous types of Learning Disorder (Dyslexia, Dyscalculia, and Disorder of Written Expression) are no longer being recommended. The type of Learning Disorder will instead be specified as noted in the diagnosis.”
The Yale Center is continuing to collect signatures for the petition. Please e-mail any additional official information to Exploration@cox.net .
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