Autism is a developmental disorder, typically emerging within a child’s first three years. Individuals with autism struggle with communication, social interaction, and may exhibit repetitive behaviors.
There is no biological test to determine autism; rather, doctors often look to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders when conducting behavioral evaluations to determine a diagnosis and allocate support and insurance. A new volume of the manual, known as the DSM-V, has been proposed and will change some aspects of the definition of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD).
Dr. Amy Davies-Lackey has worked with in the field of ASD for 18 years. She estimates that the DSM-V will have a significant impact on individuals with autism.
“It just makes the definition much more narrow,” she said. “The people it’s most likely to affect would be those who are, I would say, highest functioning on the autism spectrum, most likely those with Asperger’s Syndrome.”