Thursday, February 11, 2010

'Retard' is so 1994

Posted By on Thu, Feb 11, 2010 at 5:31 PM

No, really. The new politically correct way to label someone with mental retardation is "intellectual disability." Just so you know.

It's been 16 years since the American Psychiatric Association updated their holy grail. Apparently, a lot has changed since then:

Don't say "mental retardation" — the new term is "intellectual disability." No more diagnoses of Asperger's syndrome — call it a mild version of autism instead. And while "behavioral addictions" will be new to doctors' dictionaries, "Internet addiction" didn't make the cut.

The American Psychiatric Association is proposing major changes Wednesday to its diagnostic bible, the manual that doctors, insurers and scientists use in deciding what's officially a mental disorder and what symptoms to treat. In a new twist, it is seeking feedback via the Internet from both psychiatrists and the general public about whether the changes will be helpful before finalizing them.

The manual suggests some new diagnoses. Gambling so far is the lone identified behavioral addiction, but in the new category of learning disabilities are problems with both reading and math. Also new is binge eating, distinct from bulimia because the binge eaters don't purge.

The draft manual, posted at http://www.DSM5.org, is up for public debate through April, and it's expected to be lively. Among the autism community especially, terminology is considered key to describing a set of poorly understood conditions. People with Asperger's syndrome, for instance, tend to function poorly socially but be high-achieving academically and verbally, while verbal problems are often a feature of other forms of autism.

Read the entire MSNBC.com/ Associated Press article here.

In other crazy news:

This is isn't, of course, all inclusive. Feel free to add to it in the comments.

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