Removal of Autism Subtypes

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So I guess it’s official. The next edition of the DSM will remove all Autism subtypes (Childhood Desentagrative Disorder, Asperger’s, ect).

When we were at the Cleveland Clinic last week continuing to look into a CDD diagnosis for Gavin, we were told that the diagnosis essentially doesn’t matter because pretty soon it will no longer exist. Plus there is no treatment so it really serves no practical purpose.

So my question is, what how do you feel about the removal of Autism subtypes? Everything will just be considered Autism, at least as I understand it. What are your thoughts on this and how do you think it will impact your life of the life of your child?

Don’t be shy, your opinion is important and I would love to hear it.

– Lost and Tired

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Rob Gorski

Full time, work from home single Dad to my 3 amazing boys. Oh...and creator fo this blog. :-)
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I know raising a severely Autistic person is different than raising someone with a more mild case, I am very different from severely Autistics, but I am also very different than those HFA and especially different than people with an Asperger diagnosis, were do I stand on this?
I don't hear of the severely Asperger person, Asperger is normaly associated with really 'High Functioning' people for most but that is not true in reality, just because someone didn't have a language delay it doesn't always mean the person is not really affected.
I do respect and understand those against it.


I am very happy with removal of subtypes, there are many that receive the diagnosis of Asperger but receive little help, the subtypes are sometimes given just to avoid using the scary Autism word or when someone is diagnosed as an adult because of past misdiagnosis. I don't think things are that simple as High and Low Functioning (that are not diagnosis), many are in the middle, many are considered HFA and can't take care of themselves properly or end losing skills.We should be assessed by our strengths and deficits, be it someone with severe Autism or not.
The thing I don't like seeing is those that say that Autism and normaly Asperger is not a disability and deny that most of us are disabled, I suppose the ones that say that are the ones that are against putting all together, like Autism and disability are suppose to be shameful us. ..


Thank you for sharing your insight. You make some really interesting points and I have to say that I tend to agree with you once again. Very well spoken 🙂 or actually typed 🙂

I just saw this posting… working nonstop the last couple days. I personally am VERY against it. My daughter has severe, low functioning, classic… whatever you want to call it… When I see autism on TV NOW, its always HFA, when people talk about autism its usually HFA… so they dont understand why SO MUCH MORE needs to be done about it. My son is HFA, hes independent. My daughter will probably never be. Its like taking pneumonia and catagorizing it as a “cold” … you cant call off work for a cold… and services will be much harder to obtain for my daughter if autism is thought of as HFA since the majority of autism is HFA cases.


I think that It's a bad idea. removing the subtypes will make the suffering equal while it is absolutely not equal.
if you saw this video,
here is a mother of a child with LFA is saying that she prefers killing herself and her daughter to put her in bad school. if you go through the comments you can see how horrible they are specially from HFA grownups like (wrong planet) who put that video.
because people can not understand how is difficult to take care of LFA children. and it's not fear to compare (LFA) to (HFA) .
i have two kids one is (LFA) while the other is (HFA). there are huge difference. LFA ruined my life , while the HFA did not.

rob? Missing a link?

Julia although you do not many do especially at first contact. I ran this by my HF aspie…Not impressed, very indignant about it all…my LF autie..could not care less..

Julia Hay on Facebook

As a professional, the labels mean absolutely nothing about how I treat a child. Each child is assessed on their strengths and weaknesses and then those concerns are addressed..if I made assumptions about a child based on their diagnosis, I wouldn’t be very good at my job.

Stuart Duncan

Well, there won't be subtypes but there will be sublevels… 3 levels, which will dictate the amount of types of therapies/treatments that you will be able to receive.

It has it's pros and cons.


I hope it helps with all the confusion. Pros and cons though, are correct?

Stuart Duncan

Well, right now, doctors are pretty much free to put children into what ever subtype they like. For example, a recent study (don't have the link handy) found that some clinics were more inclined to diagnose Aspergers while other clinics were more inclined to diagnosed PDD-NOS.. or HFA (high functioning autism).

That means that, to some doctors, they're rather interchangeable. They can pretty much pick one or the other.

With levels, they can diagnose a person based on what they are and aren't capable of. Which is a bit more definitive. And should, in theory, more closely resemble the abilities of the person being diagnosed.

For laypeople no buggy they generally don’t get our kids anyway and I think they get label fatigue, however when dealing with anyone in a profession employed to assist our kids in any way whether it be GP or teacher… It will believe a lot MORE room for misunderstanding our kids, as we all know they present so very differently, these subpes aid a little in describing just how autism effects our children… Sticking the all in one box, will allow stereotypes and ignorance to prevail!

I think it is important that they are removed from my experience. It is my experience having a ‘high functioning/Aspie’ that I believe he didn’t get the same amout of patience/treatment has a ‘low functiong’ ASD placement. I believe it is because people think he understands more than he does. I already tell people, he is autistic. I don’t go into details of the spectrum and varying degrees of….when they say: wow! he looks normal. I say: yes, early intervention is key, you would be amazed at the progress in 3 years. I NEVER say: oh, well, he is high functioning, because I think they dismiss the diagnosis in their heads and try to hold him to an NT standard (in the negative way).