3 years

Outbreak

Asperger’s Epidemic

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There’s been a curious spike in the incidence of Asperger’s Syndrome in America since 1994. This, after the autistic condition was listed separately, rather than being clubbed with autism, in the ‘bible of psychiatry’, officially known as the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. Dr Allen Frances, the psychiatrist who first listed it separately, feels there’s an “epidemic of Asperger’s”. In an interview on America’s National Public Radio, he says too many shy but bright children are being listed with Asperger’s. He’d prefer that the fifth edition of DSM, due out in 2013, list Asperger’s within autistic spectrum disorders. He hopes this might bring an end to “fad diagnoses”.