The first major revisions to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual in nearly 20 years included dropping "Asperger's disorder" and a diagnosis for abnormally bad temper tantrums.
The American Psychiatric Association will publish the revised manual next week, according to Associated Press , which plays an important role in deciding which psychiatric disorders are covered by insurance, and where schools allot funds for special education.
Psychiatry professor David Kupfer said the goal of the revised manual is not to expand the number of mental illness diagnosis but rather create a more accurate diagnosis and therefore create better treatments.
Dropping the "Asperger's disorder" diagnosis was one of the biggest changes since a lot of young children receive treatment and special services for it during elementary and middle school.
The new term added to the manual was "autism spectrum disorder" which covers every degree of autism from basic social ineptitude to severe issues with human interaction.
The new umbrella terms for all types of autism will not affect anyone already receiving treatment and special educational services for their disorder.
Catherine Lord, an autism expert at Weill Cornell Medical College, is happy to see the change hoping that those previously diagnosed with Asperger's disorder and not receiving treatment for it will now get the attention they need and deserve.