As of May 2013, a new definition of autism will be used by scientists in order to more precisely diagnose kids with the brain disorder. As a result, the diagnosis of Asperger’s syndrome, considered a “higher functioning” form of autism, will disappear. This is a win for all people involved in the cause of educating, treating, and creating awareness of autism. On a high level the terms become simpler to communicate, while simultaneously freeing medical practitioners from the binding division that Asperger’s caused. “There was so much confusion of who had Asperger’s and who didn’t. We were also concerned that there were kids being denied services because Asperger’s sounds like a better diagnosis.” said Dr. Catherine Lord, director of the Center for Autism and the Developing Brain. There is no biological or genetic reason why Asperger’s should be separated on its own. The intent is to ensure that people with Asperger’s receive the same needed interventions and services as those with an autism diagnosis.

Side note: Also being swallowed up into the autism spectrum is Pervasive Developmental Disorder, a term used to classify some developmental issues, including the inability to socialize.

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