Austism as a diagnosis is constantly changing. Read More
Could it be that there is BIG business in autism?
You are so right. Before my children were born, they heard that autism was a growth field, so they decided to not talk, not socialize, and have strange obsessions. If their early initiative pays off they will be well positioned in a growth industry...
IMFAR (International Meeting for Autism Research) 2011 carried a very interesting study this year on looking at autism (and the autism spectrum) defined by various versions of the DSM - from DSM-III to DSM-IV TR: http://imfar.confex.com/imfar/2011/webprogram/Paper8278.html
Assuming that I am reading this abstract right, changing diagnostic criteria across the DSMs accounted for about 18% of the the increase in the wider PDD category in this study.
What this perhaps tells us is that changing criteria might well account for some of the 'change' in figures, but by no means all of it. Appreciating that awareness and perhaps a degree of 'recategorisation' from other diagnostic categories might also impact on the figures, I still don't think we can in any way exclude the possibility of a 'real' increase in cases of autism spectrum conditions. After all since DSM-III launched in 1980, might our environment have also 'changed' in that 30 year period?
Thank you for the link. I will follow it up. Yes, I don't think the changes in diagnoses explain all the increases in autism and we certainly can't rule out true increases. Thanks for reading.
It seems as though the changes in the DSM are leading to more people being diagnosed with autism. However, with the changes in the world today, such as chemicals used in foods and the amount of pollution, there may actually be more cases of autism. Hopefully, future research will lead to the finding the causes and cure for autism.
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Jann Gumbiner, Ph.D., is a licensed psychologist and clinical professor at the University of California, Irvine College of Medicine.
When and how should we open up to loved ones?