Exploring the perception of Asperger's disorder

Donna M. Kite, Graham A. Tyson, Judith M. Gullifer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


With current preparation for the release of the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) in 2013, many changes have been proposed for the diagnostic criteria, including changes to the pervasive development disorder category - of which Asperger's disorder is a part. Using focus group discussions this study explored how Asperger's disorder is perceived by Australian health and education staff, parents of children diagnosed with Asperger's disorder and community members. A total of 51 people participated in eight focus groups. Theory-led thematic analysis of the discussions revealed five themes of aetiology uncertainty, challenging behaviour, barriers in service provision, terminology confusion and label stigma. These themes are discussed in relation to the proposed diagnostic changes and implications for future research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)204-219
Number of pages16
JournalAustralasian Journal of Special Education
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Asperger's disorder
  • DSM
  • Stakeholder perceptions

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