Trending Clinical Topics for March 2018

Ryan Syrek

Disclosures

March 30, 2018

Clinical Trend of the Week (March 17-23): Asperger Syndrome

The reactions of two mothers and a continuing discussion about the context for a condition resulted in this week's top search term. A heartfelt poem by a doctor about her son who is living with Asperger syndrome went viral after she posted it on Facebook. To her surprise, the message struck a nerve, as fellow parents of children with autism spectrum disorder related strongly to the work, titled “This Child of Mine.” Another mother took to the Washington Post to share her thoughts on why individuals with autism, specifically Asperger syndrome, should not be described as "high functioning." She argued that the modifiers and alternative labels do more harm than good. The discussion goes beyond her editorial, as broader conversations are addressing the removal of the term "Asperger syndrome" from clinical use by the American Psychiatric Association (APA). The question is whether grouping in the unique characteristics  with general autism spectrum disorder is more inclusive or potentially less specific. As more and more individuals are diagnosed with varying degrees of autism, the conversation remains ongoing.

For more information on Asperger syndrome, read here.

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