Adult Asperger’s?

DSM-IV-TR, the current DSM edition

Image via Wikipedia

In last night’s Psychopathology class I was discussing the significant changes throughout the history and editions of the Diagnostic & Statistical Manual (I-VI), especially in regard to the growth of mental health diagnoses. That led us to talk about a couple of diagnoses, once added, that have become “popular.” By popular I don’t mean en vogue or fun or the like. What I mean is that there has been a significant increase in the usage of that diagnosis.

What diagnosis? Asperger’s Syndrome.

Why? Some feel it is because the diagnosis is known and now those who went undiagnosed now are more likely to receive a correct diagnosis. Others feel that therapists are over diagnosing–lumping in every kid who has any hint of a social quirk.

It will be interesting to see what happens to the numbers being diagnosed when DSM5 comes out (2013?) and Asperger’s is subsumed into a generic Autistic Spectrum Disorder. I’d be willing to bet that fewer people will get the diagnosis because of stigma alone.

Whether over or under used, there are adults who meet criteria for this diagnosis and who might be helped (along with their spouses) if they had some hooks to use to understand what was happening in their relationships. If you are involved in counseling folks who meet criteria for this diagnosis…or think you might, check out the this website.

Click the link “tests” and check out a couple of the free adult forms you might use in the diagnostic process. They may not be quite as robust in their statistical properties, but they do give you a good way to narrow the conversation with your clients.


Filed under counseling, counseling science, Psychology

6 responses to “Adult Asperger’s?

  1. the proposed changes to the DSM-V are currently posted online:

  2. Pingback: Tweets that mention Adult Asperger’s? | Musings of a Christian Psychologist --

  3. Hi Phil,

    I just ran across your blog today. I am an aspiring future counselor and enjoy reading your ‘musings’. I have a background in theology and experience working in campus ministry… hoping to integrate the two in a practice that will be gospel-centered both for Christians and non-Christians. Thanks for sharing your thoughts… I look forward to continuing to read.

    Jenny Avila

    • Jenny,

      Welcome. Come back often. I see connections from your blog: I and my wife have family in CT, reformed-presbyterian connections, and now you live in Chicago? Great. Blessings.

  4. I have been “unofficially” diagnosed with Asperger’s and see a specialist about it. One of the main reasons I have not received an official diagnosis is that it might end up legally impairing me in some areas. For example, no one on the autism spectrum is allowed to adopt a child in the U.S. I have also wondered what might happen when Asperger’s disappears as a separate diagnosis and it is placed under the broader heading of autism. As it is, I am very careful about who I talk about my condition with because of the baggage associated with autism.

    • L

      I hear you; i wouldnt dare tell anyone in “power” ie medical or legal community; they can hold it against you at some point. My husband knows, NOBODY else knows, no one in my family or his, I would rather be treated as “quirky” than labelled as “deficient” etc. At least in my current state I am taken seriously, even though my family has dismissed me socially; they dont call me or visit me or even invite me to anything, I feel like a blank…at least i am on very good terms with my husbands family, without them, i would have no family at all..

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