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Proposed autism definition changes

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by Stitch, Jan 20, 2012.

  1. Stitch

    Stitch Active Member

    I know others here have loved ones or know someone with autism or Asperger's.

    The American Psychological Association is proposing a stricter definition of what autism is, with ramifications for those who receive government services. One of my sons is high-functioning within the autism spectrum disorder catergory. I don't think this would affect him as he is due to receive speech therapy at school, but doesn't receive special education services besides that.

  2. Baron Scicluna

    Baron Scicluna Well-Known Member

    Utterly, fucking ridiculous.

    I also have a high-functioning Asperger's kid who receives some services, but also falls through the cracks with others. Seems like this study is just designed to say, "We're diagnosing too many kids with this, let's see how we can cut the number."

    They want to cut the number in half. HALF. Not every autistic kid fits their definition of what it is. Yet, they seem quite willing in being able to drop kids and proclaim them normal. Even when they're not.
  3. DanielSimpsonDay

    DanielSimpsonDay Well-Known Member

    I fail to see how this helps in any way. What benefit is there from excluding children presently defined as "high-functioning" from early intervention? My son is high-functioning and he would not be where he is today without those services. This is all semantic nonsense. Call it high-functioning autism spectrum disorder, Babbitt's Syndrome or whatever the hell you want. While the classification of the root cause may be up for debate, the necessity and efficacy of early intervention are not.

    It may be easier to define autism in a purely binary manner, but why would this condition be held to a rigid standard that much better understood disease states are not? By this definition, no one would be eligible for a balloon angioplasty or stent implantation because their vasculature was not 100% blocked. "Sorry, sir. Your coronary artery, while 50% blocked, is classified as 'high-functioning' and is thus cannot be be considered eligible for treatment."
  4. Stitch

    Stitch Active Member

    Early intervention programs are one of the best programs states have. Both of my sons were considered special education, but by the time they moved on to kindergarten, they didn't have IEPs anymore.
  5. EStreetJoe

    EStreetJoe Well-Known Member

    It's kind of scary that the vast majority of kids presently diagnosed with PDD-NOS will no longer be considered to be on the spectrum.

    My son didn't have an autism or PDD-NOS diagnosis to qualify for Early Intervention therapies (here in NJ the therapists they sent out to the house to do the testing found he was deficient enough in enough areas to qualify).

    However once he turned 3 Early Intervention stopped and the school district took over. Their testing showed he was borderline in qualifying for services but the PDD-NOS diagnosis sealed the deal.

    A friend of mine has a middle of the road son with autism and his anger over it has made him a conspiracy theorist. He believes that drug companies are paying off the doctors to change the definition so there will no longer be an autism epidemic, vaccines won't be blamed for the rise in autism, parents will be less afraid to get their kids vaccinated, and the drug companies can make millions off vaccine sales. I tried countering wouldn't the drug companies want more cases so they can come out with a drug they can widely market and make millions off of to treat autism and the response was that the companies make the majority of their money off vaccines, not drugs.
  6. LongTimeListener

    LongTimeListener Well-Known Member

    It saves the taxpayers money. These are the kinds of choices the new "leaner, more efficient" educational system will have to make if funding continues to go the way it has been.
  7. DanielSimpsonDay

    DanielSimpsonDay Well-Known Member

    Well, of course. I was thinking in terms of clinical utility.
  8. waterytart

    waterytart Active Member

    Based on my reading of the proposed definition, our son would still qualify for services even though he's high-functioning. For those who would lose services, their parents have to be terrified about losing the hope for improvement.
  9. rpmmutant

    rpmmutant Member

    I do not like the term high-functioning. I have a son on the spectrum, who has always been defined as high-functioning. He has a lot of language, but it is mostly scripted, rote or echolalia. He rarely uses conversational language. But because of his high-functioning, language skills, he might be be considered on the spectrum under the new definition. Never mind that he has some very severe sensation issues. He can't wear certain clothes because of the material, can't eat certain foods because of textures, can't be outside on days when it is too hot. Sure, he's high-functioning in certain areas because he's been in speech therapy since he was 3. But he still has severe reactions to clothes, food and heat. This is a change for schools to save money on providing services for kids with autism. The ones who need the most help are being cut off from the services that provide the most help.
  10. BrianGriffin

    BrianGriffin Active Member

    As the uncle of a recent high school graduate with Asperger's, I can say that this is a classic case of something that the private sector can do better. The private sector has plenty of incentive in providing these services because there's always a chance that an offspring of Bill Gates or Warren Buffett will be diagnosed with this. And then, once their needs are met, the care can trickle down to our kids too and it will be better, more efficient care because it was designed for a billionaire's kid.

    Did I mention we have a spending problem, not a revenue problem?

    One more question: Where's that blue font button?
  11. waterytart

    waterytart Active Member

  12. Baron Scicluna

    Baron Scicluna Well-Known Member

    There have been times when I've told people about my son, and they're like, "He doesn't seem autistic."

    I ask them how they come to that conclusion. And they say, "Rainman".
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