Can Asperger's Disorder Be Differentiated From Autism Using DSM-IV Criteria?

Patti Ann Tryon, Susan D. Mayes, Robert L. Rhodes, Michael Waldo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

42 Scopus citations


Parents of 26 children With diagnoses of Asperger's disorder completed a symptom checklist to determine Whether the children met Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders—Fourth Edition, Text Revision (DSM-IV-TR; American Psychiatric Association, 2000) criteria for Asperger's disorder, autism, or pervasive developmental disorder not otherWise specified. Results shoWed that almost all (20) met criteria for autism, and a DSM-IV-TR diagnosis of Asperger's disorder could not be confirmed in any child. Further, 95% of the parents Whose children did not have a DSM-IV-TR diagnosis of Asperger's disorder agreed With their child's diagnosis of Asperger's disorder. Our findings suggest that the hierarchical DSM-IV-TR criteria are not applied by clinicians to diagnose Asperger's disorder because most children With diagnoses of Asperger's disorder actually met DSM-IV-TR criteria for autism, Which precludes a diagnosis of Asperger's disorder. These findings are consistent With previous studies. Most experts noW agree that autism is a spectrum disorder and Asperger's disorder is actually high-functioning autism. Implications for the next revision of the DSM are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2-6
Number of pages5
JournalFocus on Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2006


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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