Possible Change in How Autism Defined, Diagnosed

Dr. Richard Besser discusses how proposed changes could affect families.
2:04 | 01/20/12

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Transcript for Possible Change in How Autism Defined, Diagnosed
Expert panel psychiatrist is proposing changing -- autism is defined and diagnosis is -- Doctor -- investors here with more -- how these changes could affect so many families have been talking up all over a million. That are affected by this so why the change is now what exactly are they talking about here is that it is are concerned that it's over diagnose. That is a big concern in the CDC says that did someone in a 110 children have have autism. But the concerning -- is it really rising or is it how we're diagnosing this -- there's no blood test for autism there's no brain -- crutches of so it's really a doctor sitting down doing question -- is examining a child. And what is situation where you can have a child he's -- in California and they say yes this is autism they're -- Ohio and they say no it's not autism so they're trying to improve the definition and make it more standard. In other superiors at home right now gotta look my child gets. Some services at school. Based upon their diagnosis -- -- it's so that the concern about the -- and it's a good concerned there's a new study out that says that -- in particular some of the more highly functioning children with autism and Asperger's. Might lose that diagnosis. But when I was first -- pediatrics. And the one diagnosis parents would never want -- -- is is autism. But now in so many places it's tied to. So given that the fine work that you've done for so many years -- -- with children. And dealing with parents. Good this is a good idea about -- particularly I think it's a very good idea didn't here's why there's a lot of research going on to trying to understand what causes autism and -- -- treated. But we need to make sure we're talking about the same children here. And you know. If I see a child now -- -- speech to like I can refer them to a speech therapist without giving them any kind of diagnosis. We need to do the same thing here so that children who have autism or Asperger's. They're given services based on their needs to the need help with learning do they need help with speech and they need help with social interaction. And it should be targeted diagnosis to be good news is before any change would go in the definition we have time to address that that that probably right that this just these are proposed -- -- there's no changes right now right. Right -- thanks so much.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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