Wednesday, February 01, 2012
Clinic Notes: A Drop in the Number of Children Diagnosed with Autism
In my clinic 80-90% of the children I see each week have a diagnosis of autism. And I have a wailing list that I can’t get to. I’m sure many of the kids on the waiting list will also have an autism diagnosis, too. The American Psychiatric Association is in the process of redefining the diagnostic criteria for autism for the new edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders to be released in May 2013. This is the fifth edition of the “bible”, which is used by doctors to diagnose, study and treat “mental” illnesses. I’m not sure how many of the children that I see will loose their autism diagnosis under the new guidelines, and possibly loose services. Asperger’s is going to disappear and the kids with Asperger’s are not happy with that. They say that they do not have high functioning autism and I agree with them. So what’s the upside to the change in diagnosis? Beats me.