Does Asperger Syndrome still exist?

Is Asperger Syndrome still a valid diagnosis?

The answer to both of these questions, in October 2019, is YES and will remain so until 1st January 2022.


A clinical diagnosis can only be given by a clinician. A clinician must use an internationally recognised diagnostic classification system. There are two classification systems which are most widely used. The first being International Classifications of Disorders version 10, otherwise known as ICD10 and the Diagnostic Statistical Manual version 5, otherwise known as DSMV. These classification systems are published in books and online.

ICD11 is in draft form and has an effective from date of 1 January 2022. As of October 2019, ICD10 is still current.

The ICD10 diagnostic classifications for autism are Childhood Autism, Asperger Syndrome and Atypical Autism.

DSMV, published in 2013, has one category for autism, that being Autism Spectrum Disorder.

There are many services who took the decision in 2013 to stop using the ICD classification system and move to use DSM. There are also many services who took the decision to remain consistent in their approach and to stick to the one classification system and remained using ICD10 and will change when ICD11 becomes effective in 2020. This is a valid approach.

So, if you receive a diagnosis of Childhood Autism or Asperger Syndrome according to ICD10 before 1 January 2022 then this is a valid diagnosis.

I myself, a diagnostician, has stayed with ICD10 as my first option, however my diagnostic reports will read that this person meets the diagnostic criteria for Childhood Autism ICD10 F 84.0 or Asperger Syndrome ICD 10 F84.5, however given the imminent changes that are about occur it would be useful to consider this diagnosis as representing an Autistic Spectrum Disorder.

If I believe the slight variance in criteria in DSMV would allow an individual to reach diagnostic caseness, when otherwise they would not in ICD10, then I would bring this classification into play.

Click here to find out more about what’s involved in a diagnostic assessment and feel free to get in touch if you have any questions.