Proposed changes in the definition of autism would sharply reduce the rate at which the disorder is diagnosed and could make it more difficult for many people who would no longer meet the criteria to get services, according to a New York Times report
The definition is being reviewed by a panel appointed by the American Psychiatric Association. The association is putting together the latest edition of its Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.
The D.S.M. serves as the key reference for mental disorders -- impacting research, treatment and insurance decisions. Most experts are predicting that the new manual will narrow the criteria for autism.
The psychiatrists’ association is working on where to draw the line between unusual and abnormal.
As school budgets for special education are stretched, the new diagnosis guidelines could change the reality worlds for tens of thousands of people who receive state-backed services to help offset the disorders’ disabling effects.
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