New Definition of Autism Could Affect Treatment Access 29452

The American Psychiatric Association is reviewing its definition of autism and related disorders like Asperger syndrome, and preliminary reports suggest that the new, narrower definition could remove or withhold diagnoses from high-functioning patients, leading to limited health, educational, and behavioral services at a time when school special education budgets are pushed to the limit.  One analysis found that as many as 45 percent of high-functioning autistic patients would no longer qualify under the new diagnostic criteria.

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