Autism continues to remain a mystery after two decades to those who call themselves “experts” on the disorder. They don’t know what causes it, how to cure it or how many are actually affected.
Yet, the American Psychiatric Association plans to revise its Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders by early 2013. The proposed changes will give a new definition for autism, thereby removing Asperger syndrome and pervasive developmental disorder (not otherwise specified) from the equation.
Why are authorities making this change? The suspected reason is to make the ever-increasing numbers disappear like the act of a magician waving a wand. Then if a cause or cure cannot be found, there is no problem. Costs in services will lower considerably at the state and local levels.
However, the real tragedy is that tens of thousands of children and adults will lose their services. Of course the numbers will not go away with this move, either.
I have wondered why autism appeared in the DSM to begin with. It is not a mental disorder. Autism is a metabolic disorder affecting nearly every organ in the body. Psychiatrists need to give up control of autism spectrum disorders, and better sooner than later.
North Augusta, S.C.