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A 46-year-old member asked:

how come the diagosis of autism spectrum disorders sort of swallowed up all the disabled children?

2 doctor answers8 doctors weighed in
Dr. Cindy Juster
Pediatrics 36 years experience
It hasn't.: There are lots of disabilities other than autism spectrum disorders. The reason why it seems that autism diagnoses are more common is that we have learned that autism is not just the severe form (like rain man), but includes a whole spectrum, ranging from severe down to very mild (like asperger's syndrome).
Dr. Johanna Fricke
Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics 50 years experience
Overshadowed, not: Swallowed up. It is a " preferred diagnosis" because it directs more intensive behavioral services, from which all kids with neurodevelopmental disorders would benefit. Though intellectual disability occurs in 40-68% of kids with autism, that's, understandably, tough for parents to hear.Autism is a categorical diagnosis, not an etiology. Medical & genetic evaluations are needed.

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Last updated Oct 3, 2016
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