redefining-mental-illness_1Publication of the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) next year will mark one the most anticipated events in the mental health field. DSM-5 is scheduled for release in May 2013.  The following is but one of the highlights:

*Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) – This would be a new category, which would incorporate several previously separate diagnoses, including autistic disorder, Asperger’s disorder, childhood disintegrative disorder and pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified.

The proposal asserts that symptoms of these four disorders represent a continuum from mild to severe, rather than a simple yes or no diagnosis for a specific disorder. The proposed diagnostic criteria for ASD specify a range of severity as well as describe the individuals’ overall development status – in social communication and other relevant cognitive and motor behaviors.

This change will help clinicians more accurately diagnose people with relevant symptoms and behaviors by recognizing the differences from person to person, rather than providing general labels that tend to not be consistently applied across different clinics and centers.

 For updates and for more information about the DSM-5 development process, visit:

The American Psychiatric Association received more than 13,000 comments and over 12,000 emails and letters during the three open-comment periods, which began in 2010. Watch for more information on the DSM-V in future issues of both the Employee Assistance Report and Job Training & Placement Report newsletters (