By On January 22nd, 2013

Social Communication Disorder New to DSM-V

The newest version of the diagnostic manual from the American Psychiatric Association will be released in May of this year.  There are several big changes across several categories of mental disorders.  One of the disorders that will be affected is related to autism.  In the current version of the diagnostic manual, there are four autism-spectrum disorders, however, in the upcoming DSM-V, only one autism disorder will be named with subtypes to identify specifics.

In the past, a large subgroup has been placed in the “not otherwise specified” category under the header of an autism disorder.  In order to be diagnosed with a specific autism disorder, an individual must have communication and relationship problems coupled with repetitive behaviors.  Individuals without the repetitive behaviors were unable to be fully and accurately diagnosed.  After research into this subgroup, a new disorder has been named, Social Communication Disorder.  Social Communication Disorder, or SCD, is detailed in the upcoming DSM-V, and it includes the following descriptors:  “persistent difficulty with verbal and nonverbal communication not explained by low cognitive ability” as well as “inappropriate responses in conversation.”  These problems interfere with social relationships, academic and occupational pursuits and must have been present for the individual in early childhood.  Previously left out, the new diagnosis of SCD will help in getting appropriate treatment for individuals who have difficulties in these areas.

Click here for further reading about Social Communication Disorder.

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