and then gives his own opinion:
The recent article in the New York Times concerning the possibility of the ‘vanishing’ of Aspergers Syndrome from the next version of the DSM (due in 2012) only asks two people with the AS diagnosis (Temple Grandin and Ari Ne’eman) for their opinions. Nothing wrong with that as such but I’d like to hear what the AS community at large thinks.
the AS community isn’t disappearing, its just finally taking its rightful place alongside the others in the autism comunity.
I recently discussed this issue with my mother. She's a high school teacher, and while she understands my concerns and agrees that Asperger is Autism, she has explained that, as a teacher, the label has been a useful tool for her to figure out what can and can't a student do, and what accommodations to make in the classroom. I suggested to her that perhaps then more descriptive IEPs may be in order, so that the knowledge behind the label will not be lost in the (highly likely, yet unconfirmed) merge. With that scenario, she agreed that then there would be very little point in keeping Asperger's as a term in the DSM.
I support merging Asperger's with the rest of the ASD, as it simplifies classification and eliminates confusion and potential discrimination.
One of the concerns that has been brought to my attention about this issue is that if Asperger Syndrome is no longer in the DSM, that all the hard work of raising awareness will be wasted, and that people with the diagnosis of Asperger's will fall through the cracks again.
However, I think because of the awareness that has been made about Asperger Syndrome can be shifted to be about ASD. Also, the wider range of diagnostic criteria means that people previously diagnosed as Asperger Syndrome will be recognized as being ASD, and thus will not fall into the cracks as before. Of course, this is under the impression that appropriate services for all ranges of the spectrum and all ages, from childhood to adult, are available. If those services aren't available and implemented properly, then yes, people will fall through the cracks.
Which needs to be put into place even if Asperger Syndrome isn't removed from the DSM.