Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 43, Issue 7, pp 1692–1700 | Cite as

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

  • Donna M. Kite
  • Judith Gullifer
  • Graham A. Tyson
Original Paper


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 



The Nursing and Allied Health Scholarship and Support Scheme (NAHSSS) funded through the Department of Health and Ageing provided support for participation in the Doctor of Clinical Psychology course. The views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent those of the NAHSS, its Administrator, Services for Australian Rural and Remote Allied Health (SARRAH) and/or the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Donna M. Kite
    • 1
    • 2
  • Judith Gullifer
    • 1
  • Graham A. Tyson
    • 1
  1. 1.School of PsychologyCharles Sturt UniversityBathurstAustralia
  2. 2.Port AugustaAustralia

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