CPI Training & the DSM-5’s New Diagnostic Criteria

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The new edition of the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) bears changes to the diagnostic criteria for a number of conditions. Although some criteria are changing, they should have little effect on how most CPI Certified Instructors deliver their programs or on how staff trained in our techniques should handle crisis situations.

We have noted the following changes and will continue to monitor them as the final version of the DSM-5 is prepared for publication in May 2013.

The diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) will include autistic disorder, Asperger's disorder, childhood disintegrative disorder, and pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS). ASD will be an umbrella term and the individual diagnoses will be obsolete in DSM-5. This change attempts to broaden the definition of ASD, making it more inclusive of a variety of behaviors and severities.

The DSM-5 features a new chapter on Trauma- and Stressor-Related Disorders. This chapter includes criteria for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and Trauma- or Stressor-Related Disorder Not Elsewhere Classified.

The updated manual replaces the term “dementia” with Major or Minor Neurocognitive Disorder. The new terms focus on a decline, rather than a deficit, in function. The new criteria focus less on memory impairment, allowing for variables associated with conditions that sometimes begin with speech or language impairment. A marked difference between Major and Minor Neurocognitive Disorder is that the former is associated with cognitive deficits that interfere with independence; the latter is not.

The updated manual outlines diagnostic criteria for subtypes of Neurocognitive Disorder, including Vascular Neurocognitive Disorder, Frontotemporal Neurocognitive Disorder, and Neurocognitive Disorder due to Lewy Body Dementia. Criteria for Neurocognitive Disorder Not Elsewhere Classified are also described.


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