http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/21/us/as ... osely.html
“What if he has to be re-evaluated? If the criteria were stricter, he might not get these services that have been helping him so much.”
The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, now under revision, is the standard reference for mental disorders, driving research, treatment and insurance decisions. Since 1994, when recognition of Asperger syndrome was first included as an autism-spectrum disorder, diagnosis of the condition has surged.
Over the last decade, the number of 6- to 21-year-olds with autism in public schools has quadrupled, according to the Department of Education. Such students may get private school placement, a classroom aide or curriculum adaptations. In recent years, 29 states have passed laws requiring insurance companies to provide behavioral therapies and other forms of care to people with an autism diagnosis.
“We have to make sure not everybody who is a little odd gets a diagnosis of autism or Asperger disorder,” said Dr. David J. Kupfer, a professor of psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh and chairman of the task force making the revisions, which are still subject to change. “It involves a use of treatment resources. It becomes a cost issue.”
“I didn’t know that feeling was so prevalent, that autism is so overdiagnosed,” she said, having read many of the comments on Web sites. “I just know the amount of work I do for him, and that’s not something I would do if I didn’t have to do it.
“It’s not the easy way out for anybody.”