Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Redefining Autism

The American Psychiatric Association (APA) wants to change how autism is defined, reports The New York Times. APA’s new Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders narrows the criteria for autism, bumping many people out from underneath the autism spectrum disorder umbrella.

Only an estimated 76 percent of those now diagnosed with classic autism would meet the new criteria to retain their diagnosis. The percentage is even less for individuals diagnosed with Asperger syndrome (24 percent) and P.D.D.-N.O.S. (pervasive developmental disorder, not otherwise specified, 16 percent). Families worry the repercussions from these proposed changes will limit access to special education, support services, and medical coverage.

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