, Volume 22, Issue 4, pp 483-492

Three diagnostic systems for autism: DSM-III, DSM-III-R, and ICD-10

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ICD-10 draft research criteria for childhood autism were applied to a previously published data set comparing DSM-III and DSM-III-R to clinicians' diagnoses of autism. The ICD-10 approach paralleled clinicians' patterns of diagnosis and, to a lesser extent, the DSM-III system. Relative to either clinicians, DSM-III, or ICD-10 the DSM-III-R system overdiagnosed the presence of autism. Implications for research and for future revision of diagnostic criteria are discussed.

This study was supported by a grant from the McArthur Foundation to the American Psychiatric Association and by grant HD-03008 from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, by National Institute of Mental Health grant MH-30929 to the Mental Health Clinical Research Center, and grant MRIS-1416 to the Veleran's Administration. The views expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not represent the official positions of the DSM-IV Task Force, Work Groups, or the American Psychiatric Association. The authors thank Helena Kraemer for her helpful comments.