Autism Redefined: Impact of Proposed Diagnostic Criteria

Getting an autism diagnosis could be more difficult in 2013 when a revised diagnostic definition goes into effect. The proposed changes may affect the proportion of individuals, according to preliminary data presented by Yale School of Medicine researchers.

"Given the potential implications of these findings for service eligibility, our findings offer important information for consideration by the task force finalising DSM-5 diagnostic criteria," said Yale Child Study Centre (CSC) director Fred Volkmar.

Volkmar and his team found that in a group of individuals without intellectual disabilities who were evaluated during the 1994 DSM-IV field trial, it was estimated that approximately half might not qualify for a diagnosis of autism under the proposed new definition.

Volkmar stressed that these preliminary findings relate only to the most cognitively able and may have less impact on diagnosis of more cognitively disabled people. "Use of such labels, particularly in the United States, can have important implications for service," he said. "Major changes in diagnosis also pose issues for comparing results across research studies."; Source: Yale University

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