The name may change – but the needs of sufferers remain the same
It's become a familiar diagnosis, but the term Asperger's syndrome may be consigned to history.
The revised edition of a key psychiatrist's reference manual has dropped all reference to the disorder.
According to the latest version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, the American publication used worldwide as a reference guide, symptoms which would have led to an Asperger's diagnosis will now fall under the new heading of an autistic spectrum disorder.
It is not clear yet what implications, if any, the change will have. There have been concerns that the change in diagnosis could affect the provision of services for sufferers.
But while the name may change, the symptoms – and the needs of families affected – will remain the same.