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Old 08-27-2013, 06:31 AM   #89
Tad
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And interestingly enough, just as it was removed from the DSM, this study came out of Harvard Medical school: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23902729

It compared neurotypical kids, kids with diagnosis of Asperger's syndrome, and those with a diagnosis of autism. It built on a previous study which had found differences in connectedness of certain parts of the brains between neurotypical and autistic kids. When you compare the Aspergerís kids in those same ways, they look more like the autistic kids than the neurotypical kids, so in that way you could say that Aspergerís is mild Autism.

However, when they look in more detail at the Aspergerís kids versus the Autistic kids, they found some clear differences, and that with high confidence level they could distinguish the brains of the kids with an Aspergerís diagnosis from those with an Autism one. That there is a clear and measurable difference implies that they are not really the same thing, and that those diagnoses had a real validity to them. (It doesnít show up in the summary that I linked to, but if you read the whole thing they find that there is one measure where there is even less connectedness in the Aspergerís kids, but that in another they have a very high level of connectedness, suggesting possibly a compensating mechanism where they make up for challenges in some areas by building on a strength in another)

Given which, I wonder how many professionals in the field will resist changing an Aspergerís diagnosis to an Autism one, at least for anything other than insurance or other official purposes that require a DSM category?

(Thanks to Dromond, I think it was, who had linked to this study in a post elsewhere on the boards)
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