Aspergers changes to be in focus at meeting

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Aspergers changes to be in focus at meeting

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Published on 31 May 2013

Recent changes to the diagnosis and reference of Asperger Syndrome in the Diagnostic and Statistic Manual (DSM) of Mental Disorders will be discussed at the next Asperger Support Group meeting at the University of the Sunshine Coast on Monday 3 June.

USC Psychology Clinic Director Dr Dixie Statham will outline why Asperger Syndrome will no longer appear as a separate disorder in the latest revision of the DSM manual (DSM-5) and what this means for the families of those with the syndrome.

Dr Statham said Asperger Syndrome was now classified as an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

“Those with the characteristics of Asperger will continue to be acknowledged. However, they will be done so under the definition of ASD,”she said.

“ASD will now include children with severe autism, who often do not talk or interact, as well as those with milder forms.

“Obviously these changes are of interest to a wide range of people in the community and we encourage them to come along on the night to understand how it will affect them.”

The public is welcome to attend the Asperger Support Group meeting at USC’s UniClub from 6.30-8pm on Monday 3 June.

Dr Statham said the group was formed last year as a joint project of Asperger Services Australia Ltd and the USC Psychology Clinic to assist local families and to provide a venue for discussion by health professionals.

“Meetings are held monthly on the USC campus and, to date, we have found that the shared communication between parents of young people and adults on the autism spectrum has increased knowledge, understanding and awareness,” she said.

For more details about the Asperger Support Group, contact Dr Michelle Curran at 5456 5074 or email mcurran1@usc.edu.au.

Asperger Services Australia Ltd can be contacted on (07) 3865 2911.

— Jessica Halls

 

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