BALTIMORE, June 6, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The International Dyslexia Association (IDA) voiced concerns today about proposed revisions to the fifth edition of the American Psychiatric Association's (APA) Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), which no longer include the term "dyslexia."
"Many members of the International Dyslexia Association and dyslexia communities were heartened by inclusion of the term 'dyslexia' in an earlier round of proposed DSM-5 revisions," said Karen Dakin, secretary, IDA Board of Directors. "However, many view this latest round of revisions — which now omits the term dyslexia — as a significant step backward and worry that this omission will perpetuate lack of recognition and understanding of dyslexia and contribute to delays in diagnosis and treatment."
According to IDA, terminology used in the DSM‐5 can have a profound impact on individuals' access to information, assessment, and educational, psychological, and medical services. The DSM includes codes for all mental health disorders currently recognized. With dyslexia appropriately named, described, and linked to treatment, individuals with this syndrome are more likely to be identified and provided with interventions that can improve their academic outcomes and quality of life.
In the latest revisions to the DSM-5, APA noted the following change: "Learning Disorder has been changed to Specific Learning Disorder and the previous types of Learning Disorder (Dyslexia, Dyscalculia, and Disorder of Written Expression) no longer are being recommended."
In a position statement released by the IDA, the organization's Scientific Advisory Board, which is composed of researchers who have conducted and published an extensive body of scientific work focused on the identification and treatment of dyslexia within the broader topic of specific learning disabilities, stated:
We have noted with great concern the deletion of the term dyslexia under the diagnostic category of Specific Learning Disability in the most recent draft of the DSM‐5, and urgently request the following:
a) reinstatement of the term dyslexia as the appropriate name for phonologically‐based, developmental reading disabilities that are manifested as unexpected difficulties with word recognition, spelling, language comprehension, and reading fluency; and
b) inclusion of the definition, diagnostic criteria, descriptive information, and affirmation of known treatment protocols for this developmental reading disorder.
The IDA urges the public to sign a petition requesting APA to include dyslexia in the DSM-5. The deadline to sign the petition, available at www.interdys.org, is June 15, when public comments are due to APA. Release of the manual's final approved fifth edition is anticipated May 2013.
IDA's President, Eric Tridas, MD, director of the Tridas Center for Child Development in Tampa, Florida, strongly supports IDA's official position statement regarding revisions to APA's DSM-5. Dr. Tridas states that as a developmental and behavioral pediatrician, he is well aware of the profound influence DSM-5 terminology has upon his patients' access to a variety of appropriate services. He states, "It is imperative that the term 'dyslexia' be used in order for students and families to access assessment, effective treatment and support services."
To read the IDA's official Position Statement or sign the petition, please visit www.interdys.org.
About the International Dyslexia Association
The International Dyslexia Association is a non-profit, scientific, and educational organization dedicated to the study and treatment of dyslexia as well as related language-based learning differences. For additional information please contact Lisa Harlow of Clapp Communications at (410) 561-8886 or via email at [email protected].
SOURCE International Dyslexia Association