‘Dyslexia Alert ‘: No more dyslexia diagnosis, dyslexia rights in DSM-5

‘Dyslexia Alert': No more dyslexia diagnosis, dyslexia rights in DSM-5

    November 21, 2012
    By: Tina Burgess

On Tuesday, Nov. 20, 2012, the Big Picture Film Team sent out a “Dyslexia Alert” e-mail in regard to the removal of dyslexia from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) to be published by the American Psychiatric Association (APA).

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) is the manual used by mental health professionals for a diagnosis of mental and neurodevelopmental disorders.

The DSM-5 is scheduled to be published in May 2013 and it is the first major update that the manual has undergone since 1994. The Roman numerals which had been attached to DSM since its second edition (i.e. previous DSM-IV) is being changed in order to use the manual in the new technological environment “of the 21st century”.

According to the American Psychiatric Association’s DSM-5 Development website, the DSM-5 “is intended to be a manual for assessment and diagnosis of mental disorders and will not include information or guidelines for treatment for any disorder.”

In its most Recent Updates to Proposed Revisions for DSM-5, the American Psychiatric Association describes under the category of “Neurodevelopmental Disorders” that,

“Learning Disorder has been changed to Specific Learning Disorder and the previous types of Learning Disorder (Dyslexia, Dyscalculia, and Disorder of Written Expression) are no longer being recommended. The type of Learning Disorder will instead be specified as noted in the diagnosis.”

What the sentence “The type of Learning Disorder will instead be specified as noted in the diagnosis.” might mean is unclear.

What is clear, however, is that making these kinds of changes in DSM-5 for dyslexia and dyscalculia is detrimental.

Getting an early diagnosis of dyslexia for a child is the foundation not only for the most efficient course of support but also the foundation for a dyslexic child’s legal rights which are granted by federal programs like the Individual with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) or the Americans with Disabilities Amendment Act (ADA).

No diagnosis, no legal rights.

In response to the changes in DSM-5, the Yale Center for Dyslexia and Creativity has started a petition on Change.org. The petition DSM-5 Committee: Include Dyslexia as a Specific Diagnosis in the DSM-5 Manual has collected almost 5000 signatures as of Tuesday, Nov. 20, 2012.

The Yale Center’s petition states that,

“We find inconceivable that DSM 5 is on the verge of removing dyslexia as a diagnosis. Such an ill-conceived move flies in the face of federal disability laws, and scientific, including neurobiological evidence of the validity of dyslexia. Dyslexia fits a medical model of a disorder and has been known since 1896 and is recognized world-wide as the most common neuropsychiatric disorder. To remove it will disenfranchise those millions of affected children and adults and prevent practicing psychiatrists and other physicians from the ability to diagnose this well-described and well-validated clinical entity. We urge you to make sure that dyslexia is included as a specific diagnosis in DSM 5 and not do harm to individuals who are dyslexic or to the field of psychiatry.”

On Tuesday, Nov. 20, 2012, one supporter wrote as a reason for signing that,

“I am a dyslexia tutor. Month after month I watch these children struggle at school because of lack of acknowledgement of their issues. I watch their parents break their backs trying to pay for private tutors because school won't test for or offer help with dyslexia. Why not look at the research before making such a rash and unbased decision???”

Another supporter wrote,

    “I see so many children as patients in my developmental-behavioral pediatrics practice who are burdenend by dyslexia and comorbidities that probably arise from this disorder like anxiety or depression. To not acknowledge its existence as a neurobiologic/neuropsychiatricdisorder is denying a truth that adds even more of a hardship to those afflicted with dyslexia.”

Many more voices need to be heard and many more signatures are needed.

Is the American Psychiatric Association going back in time?

Or are there other forces at work?

It is interesting to read about the principles and the people that are part of the DSM-5 Task Force and DSM-5 Work Groups.

“As part of the American Psychiatric Association’s (APA) concerted effort to avoid conflicts of interest and ensure transparency with the development of DSM-5, the Board of Trustees passed the following principles for appointees to the DSM-5 Task Force and Work Groups. These principles were adopted in December 2006.”

“To become a member of the DSM-5 Task Force or a DSM-5 Work Group, individuals must meet and abide by the following criteria. Members of the DSM-5 Task Force and DSM-5 Work Groups agreed to:

  • • Serve without remuneration [payment] for their services with the exception of the DSM-5 Task Force Chair.
  • • Not serve on a work group with a spouse, domestic partner, or first-degree family member.
  • • Receive no more than $10,000 annually in the aggregate from pharmaceutical companies/device makers/ biotechnology companies and similar industry entities for direct services, …
  • • Not hold stock or shares worth more than $50,000 in the aggregate in pharmaceutical companies/device makers/biotechnology companies and similar health-care related commercial ventures or receive more than $10,000 annually in the aggregate in dividends from such sources. Stock and shares held in mutual funds, pension or retirement funds, blind trusts, and similar arrangements do not count toward these limits.”

Is there just not enough money to be made with dyslexia or dyscalculia?

 

Source: http://www.examiner.com/article/dyslexia-alert-no-more-dyslexia-diagnosis-dyslexia-rights-dsm-5?utm_source=LDOnLine.org&utm_medium=Twitter

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