DSM-5 Goes Live
The DSM-5 was released last week. It’s still impossible to find the full criteria online anywhere, but here’s a summary of the major changes, according to a short video on the APA website.
1. Merges Asperger’s syndrome, PDD-NOS, childhood disintegrative disorder and autism into a single diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder
2. Diagnosis is now based on two criteria instead of three:
Social communication (collapsing the formerly separate social and communication domains)
Restricted, repetitive behaviors
An interesting shift is that while social communication impairments are seen as lifelong and pervasive, RRBs are not. An adult can now receive an ASD diagnosis based on current social communication impairments and a history of RRBs.
3. The addition of specifiers like age at onset, type of onset (skill loss or not), intellectual disability, verbal impairment, and co-morbid conditions present (i.e. ADHD, anxiety disorders, epilepsy). There will also be a 3-level severity scale assigned to each of the two diagnostic criteria.
If you’re interested in how the DSM-5 guidelines might be implemented in practice I found a set of guidelines developed for pediatricians at the University of Washington hospital. Keep in mind that those are preliminary (not necessarily reflecting the final release of DSM-5 and developed by one hospital.)
Weighted Blankets: Not Just for Kids
Last month my daughter surprised me with a weighted blanket for my birthday. Look how adorable it is:
It’s big enough to cover me from toes to mid-torso when I’m lying flat (or cover me entirely if I curl up on my side), which is plenty. I’ve been using it in the evenings while I’m watching TV, when I need a sensory break during the day or after a tiring outing.
It’s emotionally calming and it makes me feel more physically organized. An unexpected benefit is that my moods are less spiky since I’ve been using it daily.
From the “Change is Hard” File
My old apartment was on the 3rd floor and my new apartment is on the 2nd floor. The first few times I used the elevator here I automatically hit the 3 button, got out on the 3rd floor and was halfway to my apartment before I realized that the numbers were all wrong.
Now when I use the elevator (which isn’t often, because 2nd floor), I tell myself “2 not 3”. The funny thing is, apparently I’ve been saying it out loud. The things you don’t realize until another person is around to look at you funny. Oops.
In the comments on one of the surveys, Robin shared a cool video that can help you identify if you experience a certain kind of synesthesia in which visual motion generates sound. I didn’t hear anything when I watched it but some other folks did.
Last week the blog topped 100,000 views and 3000 comments. Yay!