In the light of proposed changes to the DSM criteria for diagnosis of autism I was planning to re-write sections of the ASD course and the relevant parts in the other core courses. However correspondence on the NAS website prompted me to contact Julie Mullis RCSLT advisory for ASD to ask her advice. Her response is as follows:
‘This is a bit of a tricky issue. The first thing to remember is that in Britain we generally should use ICD for diagnostic purposes as it is European (WHO) whereas DSM is American (APA). Secondly I don’t think there should be a problem talking about the Triad of Impairments as it is still a good way of categorising and thinking about social impairments. In practice the only difference will be the relative importance that will be put on sensory issues. I spoke to Judy Gould at the NAS Professionals Conference in Harrogate in March and she said that they would still be using ICD 10 at the moment including the diagnostic label of Aspergers Syndrome.’
I am therefore proposing to NOT update the ASD course this summer until the whole situation becomes clearer. However I will be writing, in collaboration with others, some additional information about sensory issues which will be available for you to download in the tutor section of the website and I would ask you to refer to this and use it when delivering future training about autism. I will let you know via Elklan alerts! when this is available.
When delivering any training in this area from now onwards please make learners aware that there are going to be changes to the diagnostic criteria but it’s not at all clear when this is going to happen. Refer them to the NAS website for further information, http://www.autism.org.uk/about-autism/all-about-diagnosis/proposed-changes-to-autism-and-as-diagnostic-criteria.aspx