The Potential Impact of New Diagnosis Guidelines

Last May, the APA (American Psychiatric Association) published the DSM-5 (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders). The DSM is considered the ‘bible’ of diagnoses and is used by doctors, insurance companies and schools as the primary source for diagnoses. In the new edition (DSM-5), the diagnosis for ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorders) underwent significant changes. They asserted at the time of publication that it would not adversely affect people currently diagnosed with ASD or those to come. According to a recent study by Matthew Maenner and colleagues at the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) that might not be accurate.

Maenner found that, if the current diagnosis were in place in 2008, the prevalence rate for autism would be 1:100 rather than the current 1:88. What this exactly means moving forward is not clear but ‘moving the goalposts’ for diagnosis could have the effect of many children not receiving the services they require.

Read more at US News and World Report here.

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