I originally posted the following information and commentary onto my Facebook wall…
A Powerful Identity, A Vanishing Diagnosis:
(Claudia Wallis) It is one of the most intriguing labels in psychiatry. Children with Asperger’s syndrome, a mild form of autism, are socially awkward and often physically clumsy, but many are verbal prodigies, speaking in complex sentences at early ages, reading newspapers fluently by age 5 or 6 and acquiring expertise in some preferred topic — stegosaurs, clipper ships, Interstate highways — that will astonish adults and bore their playmates to tears.
In recent years, this once obscure diagnosis, given to more than four times as many boys as girls, has become increasingly common.
My Commentary: According to this article, “though [Asperger’s syndrome] became an official part of the medical lexicon only in 1994, the experts who are revising psychiatry’s diagnostic manual have proposed to eliminate it from the new edition, due out in 2012. If these experts have their way, Asperger’s syndrome (AS) and another mild form of autism, pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified (P.D.D.-N.O.S.), will be folded into a single broad diagnosis, autism spectrum disorder — a category that encompasses autism’s entire range, or spectrum,” from mild to severe.