I understand, and many researchers have pointed out to me, that grandfathering these autism diagnoses is scientifically messy at best. It may take decades to "clean up" the science; in the meantime, it's my duty to advocate for my patients.
In the DSM-5, we propose a new way of looking at these disorders, merging them into a single diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder. We believe this will create more accurate diagnoses and improved access to services. It should also improve research into ASD.
In the Feb. 1 New York Times there is a telling op-ed by Benjamin Nugent, a successful writer and a "recovered" Asperger's patient. Mr. Nugent abruptly and spontaneously outgrew his disease right after college and has lived happily ever after.