TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) - 1 in 88 children is diagnosed with some form of Autism; those are the latest numbers from the Center for Disease Control.
While the number grows, national psychiatrists are working to change the way the disorder is diagnosed. That change may improve how Americans deal with the growing disorder.
The stories pull at your heart strings. Young children diagnosed with a disorder that can impair their learning and communication skills.
As communities across America have increased awareness of it, so have psychiatrists across the world; starting with changing the diagnosis.
"They have experts from all over the world that have sat down and revised the manual," Dr. Ahsan Mahmood Medical Director of the Hamilton Center explained.
That manual is the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. The American Psychiatric Association revised their manual this year for the first time in 20 years.
Until now, the different forms of autism were separated.
But now Aspergers disorder, Autism disorder, childhood disintegration disorder, and pervasive developmental disorder will all be grouped under the diagnosis autism spectrum disorder.
"There are overlaps in these conditions and in certain ways they were being treated differently. So (now) it will be standardized more," he explained.
Which means the treatment at places at the Hamilton Center will be tailored to the patient and not just the disorder.
Dr. Mahmood says the new diagnosis will benefit both patient and doctor.
"Some insurance companies tend not to pay for certain diagnosis so the whole spectrum will be billed under one diagnosis," he said.
Changes in the fight against autism, which are starting with the people treating it.
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