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There's a major debate brewing in the medical field and that is how should autism be defined the definition which now includes a wide range of disorders.
May be tightened to limit how many kids fall under the diagnosis of autism.
The -- parents are very concerned about this they say the stricter criteria may prevent their children.
From getting the services that they need joining me now to talk about this is -- Bauer she's an insurance advocate and a litigator for families with autistic children Judy thanks so much for being here to help us make sense of all of this why is the American Psychiatric Association considering changing the definition of office.
I think that they're trying to be.
More specific about the conditions that might fall within the scope of the definition but they haven't realized.
That in narrowing the definition of that they're hurting a lot of children and how are they hurting children.
Well in need DSM for their current definition there's a for recent development disorder.
On spectrum and kids with autism.
Asperger's PD MLS all fall within the scope of the spectrum.
They've gotten rid of pervasive development disorder in the proposed definition.
And they have on something called autism spectrum disorder.
Which requires a trio of three symptoms.
Social and communication deficits and repetitive behavior.
A lot of kids who have PDD and lasts -- -- no -- possibly are no longer gonna fit within the scope and that definitely.
Because they don't have repetitive behavior because they might not have repetitive behaviors so basically what it sounds like you're saying is that when -- changed the definition.
For kids who were previously on the spectrum won't change they'll still have their same symptoms of anti social behavior -- whatever is.
However they won't be able to get coverage you'll be able to get covered because the state -- basically.
-- -- Diagnoses that require coverage.
And within the scope of those mandates typically it's autism Asperger's PDD NL west PDD -- and Asperger's is no longer -- exists.
Or a portion of the children who have those symptoms don't have social communication disorders.
And repetitive behaviors there are no longer going to be considered artistic so the statutes are not gonna protect them anymore.
We just threw up a a map of all the states you can see how widespread this is throughout the country I mean there are a lot of states that are considering.
Doing this and by the way the CDC there was a 2007 study that estimated the lifetime cost of care.
For a child on the spectrum to be 3.2 million dollars so now families.
We'll have to somehow come up with that money if they want treat.
-- for their children that's right diagnosis -- treatment.
-- you know and treatment yet and if they don't have a diagnosis not gonna have insurance.
And the parents are going to be the -- -- pick up the cost the school districts in anyone's pick up across that they can anything get -- the school district support in the first place social services are gonna pick of the -- That the cost the children are going to be fighting for coverage without a diagnosis.
Is it possible of the American Psychiatric Association will reconsider and they that they won't change the definition well you know it's a good question right now -- the definition is in -- They are considering whether or not to change -- it's not sentenced him.
And so you know we need to comment on -- they're taking comments from people from the public.
From the psychiatric community we need to comment on -- we need to let them know but by narrowing the definition.
They're gonna take away a lot of services from kids.
-- right now kids who were on that lower scale of the spectrum who may be might be more high functioning.
Are they in regular classrooms in schools -- other kids and functioning.
You know if they get intensive behavioral therapy and speech and physical therapy when they're young and they get that through the help for the state insurance mandates.
They very well could be in much better shape later on and won't need help.
From the system as you know has become adults if those kids don't get those therapies because they don't have the protection statement it's.
What's gonna happen they're going to be in trouble they're gonna need help as adults it's going to be a much higher costs to society.
So for all the parents are watching us this morning what can they do to make sure that this doesn't going forward.
They have to reach out to their legislatures they have to.
-- -- Reach out to the DSM the people that are.
Are changing GSM they have to -- -- write directly to the American psychiatric I think he can write directly to the American Psychiatric Association.
You start to protest a new definition.
We need to have we need to cry out -- comments on this this change as a as a narrowing of the definitions -- her on -- would you radar thanks so much for coming in and opening RI solve this thing really patient so.
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