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Monday, January 23, 2012

Impact of Revised Autism Definition on Treatments

Revised Definition Could Make Autism Diagnosis, Treatment More Difficult - Health News - redOrbit

U.S. health experts are reportedly considering changing the definition of autism which would likely reduce the rate at which the disorder is diagnosed, while also possibly reducing some individuals’ access to the treatment and social assistance they currently receive.

According to a Thursday report by Benedict Carey of the New York Times, a panel of experts appointed by the American Psychiatric Association (APA) is considering narrowing the definition of the disorder as part of revisions planned for the forthcoming fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM).

The DSM, Carey says, “is the standard reference for mental disorders, driving research, treatment and insurance decisions. Most experts expect that the new manual will narrow the criteria for autism; the question is how sharply… The psychiatrists’ association is wrestling with one of the most agonizing questions in mental health — where to draw the line between unusual and abnormal — and its decisions are sure to be wrenching for some families.”

One possibility, according to UPI reports, is that autism and related disorders such as Asperger’s syndrome and “pervasive developmental disorder, not otherwise specified” would be combined under one category, identified as “autism spectrum disorder.” The latter two disorders would then be individually stricken from the manual.

“Under the current definition, a person can qualify for the diagnosis by exhibiting six or more of 12 behaviors. With the new definition, one would have to exhibit three deficits in social interaction and communication and at least two repetitive behaviors — much narrower criteria,” according to experts, UPI reported.

More @ http://www.redorbit.com/news/health/1112459844/revised-definition-could-make-autism-diagnosis-treatment-more-difficult/


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