Access Schools

Issue Focus: DSM-5 Revisions

July 2014

Access Schools addresses the specific needs of speech-language pathologists working in schools.


The Speech Pathology Group

Speech Pathology Group

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Featured Question

What are some of the revisions to the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5)?

There are several revisions to the DSM-5, issued by the American Psychiatric Institute in May 2013. One revision eliminates pervasive development disorder and its sub-categories, and creates a category of "autism spectrum disorder" with varying degrees of severity. A second change in the new edition is the move from "expressive language disorder" and "mixed receptive-expressive language disorder" under communication disorders  to "language disorder," "speech sound disorder, "childhood-onset fluency disorder," "social (pragmatic) communication disorder," and "unspecified communication disorder."

Another important change is the definition of "specific learning disability." The DSM-5 combines diagnoses that were separate in DSM-IV (i.e., reading disorder, disorder of written expression, mathematics disorder, and learning disorder not otherwise specified.)

To read more about these changes see the complete chart of changes relevant to speech-language pathology treatment, an article from the ASHA Leader,  and an ASHAsphere blog post.

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The next issue of Access Schools is coming September 2014! Address comments and suggestions for future Access Schools topics to Aruna Hari Prasad or Neil Snyder at For information, resources, or responses to questions about school practice, e-mail To subscribe to this e-newsletter, send a blank e-mail with the word "subscribe" in the subject line to

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