Earlier this week, I noted that that the American Psychiatric Association's new Diagnostic Manual, the DSM 5, will no longer include the official diagnosis of Asperger syndrome. Another autism spectrum disorder that will disappear - probably forever - is PDD-NOS (Pervasive Developmental Disorder Not Otherwise Specified).
PDD-NOS, as it's currently described, is a sort of dumping ground diagnosis, in that it includes anyone who presents with some but not all symptoms of autism when those symptoms cannot be otherwise explained. Some people with PDD-NOS are relatively mildly impacted by social communications delays and/or repetitive behaviors and interests; others are severely disabled, but have only some of the specific symptoms ascribed to autism. As might be expected, PDD-NOS is not an especially popular diagnosis among parents or clinicians, so its demise is not likely to be mourned.
The question, of course, is what will happen to those children and adults who currently have a PDD-NOS diagnosis? Will they still fall under the autism spectrum umbrella when the new DSM goes into effect in 2013?
I asked the American Psychiatric Association, and they provided an answer. If you don't have time to click on the link right now, I'll give you the short version. The answer (not surprisingly) is - maybe. It depends.
More About PDD-NOS and the Autism Spectrum