Changes to the Diagnostic Landscape
The DSM-V, which was released in May 2013, replaced previous diagnoses such as Autistic Disorder, Pervasive Developmental Disorder, Not Otherwise Specified (PDD, NOS), Asperger’s Disorder and Childhood Disintegrative Disorder with one diagnosis called Autism Spectrum Disorder. Click here for information about the new ASD diagnosis. If you or your child was previously diagnosed with Autistic Disorder, PDD, NOS, or Asperger’s Disorder, you are “grandfathered” in to the new Autism Spectrum Disorder terminology.
In addition to the above changes, the diagnosis of Social (Pragmatic) Communication Disorder was created to describe children and adults who have communicative and social challenges, but without the repetitive rituals or behaviors typically associated with ASD. Many of these individuals would have met criteria for PDD, NOS in the past. Click here for information about the new Social (Pragmatic) Communication Disorder diagnosis. It is still unclear whether people with SCD will be eligible for a similar level of service as those with ASD.
Important Healthcare News
In 2011, the State of California passed legislation, SB946, mandating Behavioral Health treatment be covered for many people with ASD in the state. This has been a “game changer’ in the way that healthcare entities approach ASD treatment. See a brief description of the impact of that legislation here. A full copy of SB 946 can be found here.
Did you know?
The medical system and the educational system have different definitions of “autism” which can be confusing for families and professional alike. A psychologist (PhD or PsyD degree), psychiatrist or developmental pediatrician (MD degree) generally are the types of professionals who make medical decisions about whether or not a person meets medical criteria for ASD. In the educational system, a school psychologist (MS or EdD degree) generally performs an psychoeducational evaluation and then a team of professionals in the school district makes a determination about a student’s eligibility for services. Click here to review educational criteria for autism in the state of California.