Assignment: Video Role-Play: Strengths and Weaknesses of the DSM-5

Though the DSM-5 is the standard manual for mental illness diagnoses, it is not without weakness. In this Assignment, you analyze the strengths and limitations of the DSM-5 diagnostic system, and you differentiate between normal behavior and diagnosable symptoms using the concepts of dimensionality and spectrum.

To prepare: Review the concept of the dimensional approach with the DSM-5 and review the methods that the DSM-5 recommends to individualize where a person fits on a continuum of their illness in terms of subtypes, severity, and functional impairments. You will find these classifications in different parts of the manual and begin to be comfortable looking through it.

Next, imagine the following scenario:

You are a school social worker who has been asked to address a parent-teacher association meeting. Many parents in the audience have children who have been identified for special education services. They are confused about how to understand the diagnoses they are seeing. Others have worries about overdiagnosis. You have been advised that while these parents are generally well-informed, many don’t understand the dimensional or spectrum aspects. All are worried.

You will start your video with your introductory talk to the parents on these factors. After you provide your explanation, imagine that you open the meeting to questions. You will address the question noted below that is posed by a parent in the audience. Consider your audience, and practice explaining in terms a non-professional might understand. Do NOT read from the book.

Review the questions (in the Assignment instructions below) ahead of time and plan your answer before recording, as you will need to look up and integrate materials to answer the chosen question.

By Day 7

Submit a 3- to 5-minute video, considering the parents as your audience, in which you do the following: