ASHA Provides Input to NIH on New ASD Diagnosis Criteria In comments solicited by the National Institutes of Health, ASHA President Elizabeth McCrea expressed concern about the absence of a language component in the new autism spectrum disorder diagnosis criteria. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition, describes one category, ASD, with specific criteria related to deficits ... ASHA News
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ASHA News  |   July 01, 2014
ASHA Provides Input to NIH on New ASD Diagnosis Criteria
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Regulatory, Legislative & Advocacy / ASHA News & Member Stories / ASHA News
ASHA News   |   July 01, 2014
ASHA Provides Input to NIH on New ASD Diagnosis Criteria
The ASHA Leader, July 2014, Vol. 19, 58. doi:10.1044/leader.AN1.19072014.58
The ASHA Leader, July 2014, Vol. 19, 58. doi:10.1044/leader.AN1.19072014.58
In comments solicited by the National Institutes of Health, ASHA President Elizabeth McCrea expressed concern about the absence of a language component in the new autism spectrum disorder diagnosis criteria.
The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition, describes one category, ASD, with specific criteria related to deficits in social communication/interaction and restricted and/or repetitive patterns of behavior. The Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee, which coordinates ASD-related activities in the federal government, subsequently identified several ways that the change might affect access to services. Because of its substantial investment in ASD-related research ($192 million in fiscal year 2012), NIH solicited additional input about the implications of the changes.
ASHA expressed four specific concerns:
  • The absence of a language component in the diagnostic criteria, which overlooks the importance of language form and content in defining ASD.

  • The need for assessments that are culturally and linguistically appropriate, because of the potential for misdiagnosis due to cultural variations in verbal and nonverbal communication.

  • The need to differentiate social (pragmatic) communication disorder and ASD, which may be difficult to distinguish in some children.

  • The need for standardized guidance on correct DSM-5 diagnosis for individuals previously diagnosed under earlier criteria.

Each of these concerns is explained fully in the comment letter.
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July 2014
Volume 19, Issue 7