Original Paper

Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 43, Issue 7, pp 1692-1700

First online:

Views on the Diagnostic Labels of Autism and Asperger’s Disorder and the Proposed Changes in the DSM

  • Donna M. KiteAffiliated withSchool of Psychology, Charles Sturt University Email author 
  • , Judith GulliferAffiliated withSchool of Psychology, Charles Sturt University
  • , Graham A. TysonAffiliated withSchool of Psychology, Charles Sturt University

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With the approaching release of the DSM V in 2013, there has been much debate about the proposal to remove the diagnostic label of Asperger’s disorder from the new DSM. This study explored how health and education professionals perceive the conditions of autism and Asperger’s disorder and their views on the proposed diagnostic changes. Analysis of the 547 participant responses confirmed an increase stigma is associated with the label of autism, with autism considered to be a more severe than the condition of Asperger’s disorder. Approximately half of the participants reported being opposed to proposed diagnostic changes and of the remaining participants, 22 % supported the proposed changes and 28 % expressed uncertainty.


Autism Asperger’s disorder Diagnostic changes Stigma