DSM-5 Diagnostic Criteria for Autism Spectrum Disorder With Implications for School Psychologists

Amy N. Esler, Lisa A. Ruble

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Changes to the diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) within the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th edition (DSM-5; American Psychiatric Association, 2013) have important implications for school psychologists responsible for evaluating children with ASD, interpreting results to caregivers, and informing policy makers of needed revisions to eligibility criteria based on empirical understanding. The primary purpose of this review is to describe changes to the DSM-5 and the empirical evidence behind the modifications. A secondary goal is to describe implications for best practices in school evaluations for ASD. Given the concerns about the DSM-5 expressed by caregivers and individuals with ASD during the revision process, school psychologists who are aware of the rationale for and implications of the changes will be better positioned to assist local policy makers regarding diagnostic evaluations for ASD and address parental concerns regarding the evaluation process and service implications for their child.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-15
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Journal of School and Educational Psychology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2 2015


  • Autism
  • DSM-5
  • assessment
  • clinical diagnosis
  • practice issues

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