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US Autism & Asperger Association
March 28, 2013

Welcome to USAAA WeeklyNews, an email newsletter that addresses a range of topics on Autism, Asperger's Syndrome, and Pervasive Developmental Disorders.


Are We Over-Diagnosing Mental Illness?
Neurologists Say ADHD Drugs Should Not be Used as 'Study Drugs'

boy[USAAA WeeklyNews editor's note: While the DSM-5 new edition is due out in May 2013, The ICD (The International Classification of Diseases) 11th Revision isn't due to be published until 2015. While the DSM-5 groups autism under one classification under Autism Spectrum Disorders and eliminates the Pervasive Developmental Disorders that include Autistic Disorder, Asperger's Disorder, Rhett's Disorder, Childhood Disintegrative Disorder and Pervasive Developmental Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (including atypical autism), the ICD-10 currently maintains Asperger's Syndrome F84.5).]

By Dr. Joseph Mercola, March 28, 2013

The fifth edition of the American Psychiatric Association's (APA) diagnostic "bible" - the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders (DSM) - is due out in May 2013.

DSM-5 contains an ever-expanding list of mental illnesses, along with detailed criteria that psychiatrists and other mental health professionals use for making diagnoses.

But many critics have emerged, including a group of opponents referred to as the International DSM-5 Response Committee, who are launching a campaign to block the manual’s release, or at least warn practitioners and patients alike to take its definitions of mental illness with a serious grain of salt.

According to some, the new version of the manual will label healthy people with a mental condition and make them prime candidates for unnecessary prescriptions of mind-altering antidepressant and antipsychotic drugs.

"What makes this scenario all the more frustrating is the fact that virtually none of the mental disorders described in the DSM can be objectively measured by empirical tests."

At the center of the anti-DSM-5 movement is Dr. Allen Frances, author of "Saving Normal: An Insider's Revolt Against Out of Control Psychiatric Diagnosis, DSM-5, Big Pharma and the Medicalization of Ordinary Life."

Dr. Frances actually led the task force that produced the last edition of the manual, DSM-4, which he now believes has resulted in the over-medicalization and over-diagnosis of mental illnesses.

Frances told CNN:

"What motivates me is the experience of having inadvertently contributed to fads and psycho-diagnosis that have resulted in over-diagnosis and over-treatment...Some of this happened during DSM IV, even though we were more conservative with that document than they've been with DSM-5, with its many changes that are unsupported and, in some cases, quite reckless."

The American Academy of Neurology has released a formal statement against "pediatric neuroenhancement", noting:

"In children and adolescents, neuroenhancement appears to be increasing in parallel to the rising rates of attention-deficit disorder diagnoses and stimulant medication prescriptions, and the opportunities for medication diversion. Pediatric neuroenhancement remains a particularly unsettled and value-laden practice, often without appropriate goals or justification.

Pediatric neuroenhancement presents its own ethical, social, legal, and developmental issues, including the fiduciary responsibility of physicians caring for children, the special integrity of the doctor-child-parent relationship, the vulnerability of children to various forms of coercion, distributive justice in school settings, and the moral obligation of physicians to prevent misuse of medication... neuroenhancement in legally and developmentally nonautonomous children and adolescents without a diagnosis of a neurologic disorder is not justifiable."

Pediatric neuroenhancement: Ethical, legal, social, and neurodevelopmental implications article

Read the entire story by Dr. Mercola
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Early Bird Registration Now Available - SAVE up to 40% before June 1st.

conference logoOn August 15-18, 2013, the US Autism & Asperger Association (USAAA) launches its 2013 Annual World Conference in Salt Lake City, Utah at the Sheraton Hotel and Conference Center. Over 40 of the world’s most respected experts will discuss new treatment regimes and effective therapies. After three days, you will leave the conference armed with tools of practical protocols and valuable resources for your child, family member, patient, friend, student, or yourself. Our speakers and panelists include physicians, behaviorists, educators, researchers, speech pathologists, developmental specialists, psychologists, social workers, occupational therapists, scientists, nutritionists, siblings, self-advocates, parents, education consultants, plus more.

Dr. Temple Grandin, PhD, one of the most accomplished and well-known adults with autism in the world, will keynote the opening session on Friday morning, August 16 and there will be an exclusive special "One on One" with Temple. Dr. Grandin ranked 31st on Time Magazine's list of the most influential people of 2010 in the world. Dr. Grandin's fascinating life was brought to the screen in the HBO production full-length film, Temple Grandin, which received seven Emmy awards in 2010. Dr. Grandin works as a Professor of Animal Sciences at Colorado State University.

Dr. Temple Grandin, PhD, one of the most accomplished and well-known adults with autism in the world, will keynote the opening session

Continuing education will be offered throughout the conference.

Click here for more information on the conference.

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In this issue:

Are We Over-Diagnosing Mental Illness?

Early Bird Registration Now Available - SAVE up to 40% before June 1st.


US Autism & Asperger Association hosts the USAAA 2013 World Conference in Salt Lake City, Utah, August 15-18.

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