Brief report: DSM-5 "levels of support:" A comment on discrepant conceptualizations of severity in asd

Amy S. Weitlauf, Katherine O. Gotham, Alison C. Vehorn, Zachary E. Warren

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations

Abstract

Proposed DSM-5 revisions to the diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) include a "severity" marker based on degree of impairment. Although qualitative differences between support levels are described, quantitative methods or practice recommendations for differentiating between levels remain undetermined. This leaves the field vulnerable to potential discrepancies between severity categorizations that may have inadvertent service implications. We examined overlap between mild, moderate, and severe impairment classifications based on autism symptoms, cognitive skills, and adaptive functioning in 726 participants (15 months - 17 years) with ASD. Participants with mild, moderate, and severe autism symptoms demonstrated varying levels of adaptive and cognitive impairment. These discrepancies highlight the need for a clearly elucidated method of classifying level of support in ASD diagnosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)471-476
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
Volume44
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2014
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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