After Criticism, DSM Committee Changes Course

Experts behind the new version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders didn’t back down on major changes to the definition of autism, but appear to have made an about-face when it comes to intellectual disability.

Initial plans to revise the diagnosis of “mental retardation” in the forthcoming fifth edition of the psychiatric manual called for the condition to be renamed “intellectual developmental disorder.” Critics blasted the proposal because it was inconsistent with the more commonly accepted term “intellectual disability” which has already been adopted in many federal and state laws.

Now it appears that the American Psychiatric Association heard the complaints. In newly-released documents, officials from the psychiatrists’ group stopped short of revealing the final text for the manual, but now say the version slated for publication in May will replace “mental retardation” with “intellectual disability.” The move is an effort to align with the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, the U.S. Department of Education and other groups, the psychiatric association said.

The new term with be appended with a notation about “intellectual developmental disorder” in order to be congruent with language expected in an upcoming revision of the International Classification of Diseases, or ICD, a guide to diseases and disorders published by the World Health Organization.

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After Criticism, DSM Committee Changes Course

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2 Responses to “After Criticism, DSM Committee Changes Course”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    I'm all for terms to make everything politically correct, but meaningful reform would be even better.

  2. Anonymous Says:

    Self-help is great, especially when your DIS-EASE terms help you push your poison pills.

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