"Asperger's disorder" was dropped this week from the American Psychiatric Association's diagnostic manual, representing -- along with other revisions -- the first change in almost 20 years, the Associated Press reported.
The diagnostic guide is used in different ways across a number of nations, the BBC reported. According to the Associated Press, the manual affects who receives treatment, what insurance companies will cover and which students qualify for special education.
Asperger's will be incorporated under the new umbrella term "autism spectrum disorder," the Associated Press reported. Many healthcare experts already use the term, which encompasses mild to severe autism.
While some are concerned that Asperger's being dropped will prevent children previously diagnosed with the disorder from receiving treatment or being able to enroll in special education, the implementation of an umbrella term may have the opposite effect, the Associated Press reported.
In some states and school systems, children diagnosed with Asperger's were not provided with services, or received fewer services than those diagnosed with autism. Now, anyone previously diagnosed with Asperger's will fall under the new autism spectrum disorder diagnosis and be treated accordingly.
Another change to the manual is the addition of "disruptive mood disregulation disorder," a diagnosis for unusually bad and frequent temper tantrums, the Associated Press reported. According to the BBC, supporters of the addition say it will address the high number of children being misdiagnosed with bipolar disorder.