Fixing the DSM-5 Autism Criteria

From the perspective of a person with Level 1 Autism

Rachel Anne Helms


Photo by Anthony Tran on Unsplash

As a person with Level 1 Autism, reading what the DSM-5 and the National Institute of Health say about Autism can be quite infuriating.

It is clearly written from the perspective of someone who neither understands nor empathizes with the Autistic perspective, and it’s largely based on the ways people with Autism don’t fit social norms, not what we actually experience. It’s no wonder so many people are still underdiagnosed with this condition, and so few people understand it.

The prevailing emphasis on forcing people with autism to learn and follow allistic norms instead of understanding, accommodating, or allowing for flexibility, especially when the behavior is not harmful, is problematic.

In most cases, conforming to allistic norms, commonly known as “masking”, is incredibly tasking and to a large extent, detrimental to our personal well-being.

So let’s add some important perspective to what the “professionals” say about Autism.

What is Autism?

Information from the National Institute of Mental Health states the following:

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a neurological and developmental disorder that affects how…



Rachel Anne Helms

ADHD, Autism, & cPTSD. Lifelong learner and sharer of acquired knowledge and wisdom. Join The Neurodivergent Network Community ->