Revised Diagnostic Criteria May Affect Autism Patients

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For the approximately one million Americans living with Autism, proving their rights to insurance proceeds and coverage as well as SSDI may soon become even more difficult.
The American Psychiatric Association has appointed a panel that is reviewing the current definition of Autism as a prelude to publishing the newest version of the D.S.M. Currently, “a person can qualify for the diagnosis by exhibiting six or more of 12 behaviors; under the proposed definition, the person would have to exhibit three deficits in social interaction and communication and at least two repetitive behaviors – a much narrower menu.” New York Times Article, January 19, 2012. Additionally, the proposed definition would unite all Autism spectrum disorders – including Asperger’s Syndrome and Pervasive Developmental Disorder-under a single heading. The result, say some experts, will be a large drop in those who qualify for the diagnosis. The result of losing an Autism Diagnosis may be a loss of medical benefits, Social Security Disability, support groups and housing. Similar implications are likely for private insurance benefits.
We at Bonny G. Rafel are experienced in helping those with difficult-to-diagnose conditions prove their disability and obtain the benefits they deserve.

By Sara E. Kaplan Esq.

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