Date of Paper


Type of Paper

Clinical research paper

Degree Name

Master of Social Work (M.S.W.)


Social Work

First Advisor

Kari Fletcher


Social Work


This qualitative study examined the clinicians’ perspectives on the reconceptualization of Autism Spectrum Disorder within the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (2013), also referred to as DSM-5. Data were collected through six semi-structured interviews (n = 6) with clinical professionals who work directly with children and adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), otherwise known as Pervasive Developmental Disorders (PDD). Clinical professionals included licensed independent clinical social workers, licensed clinical social workers, and licensed psychologists. Grounded theory method was used with open coding to analyze various themes and subthemes within transcribed interviews. This study examined participants’ perceptions on overall changes to ASD criterion in DSM-5, participants’ views on strengths and challenges with new ASD criterion in DSM-5, and participants’ perspectives on implications of DSM-5. The findings from this study were consistent with similar literature and research on the changes of ASD from DSM-IV to DSM-5 and provided additional information. Professionals both support and criticize changes to the ASD diagnostic criteria in DSM-5.

Included in

Social Work Commons