Professor Barbra Johnson
December 8, 2013
Recent History of Autism Spectrum Disorders: Viewpoints on the Increase in Diagnosis
The premise of “Back to Normal: Why Ordinary Childhood Behavior Is Mistaken for ADHD, Bipolar Disorder, and Autism Spectrum Disorder,” by Enrico Gnaulati, Ph.D. is that autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are up 78 percent in 10 years and that “we’re dramatically overdiagnosing it in everyday behavior” (Gnaulati, 2013). The underlying argument that Gnaulati utilizes is that there is no need for a diagnosis in a large array of those diagnosed with ASD because instead, they are just “brainy, introverted boys” like his client, William. I chose this article because I wanted to discuss the recent history …show more content…
First and foremost, let’s point out that Gnaulati completely disregards the female population that has ASD, and approximately one in four individuals diagnosed with the disorder are girls (Buron & Wolfberg, 2008). That is 25%, a rather large portion for Gnaulati to ignore. Second, Gnaulati pairs ASD with the offset of a “budding intellectual.” As a parent, which one would you choose? It’s not fair to make that comparison in an ultimatum form when there are other possible diagnoses aside from ASD. Third, his uncomplicated explanation does not mention other possible, viable explanations for the increase in diagnosis. Five years ago, Buron & Wolfberg attributed the increase in diagnosis to three …show more content…
Widened diagnostic goal posts: the definition and conceptualization of autism has changed. It is now accepted that children have more than one disorder (it is no longer considered that some disorders are discrete and mutually exclusive; children can have more than one developmental disorder).
2. We have become better at diagnosing autism, especially in younger children (this includes the improved ability to detect autism and to ensure fewer children escape detection).
3. In the past a child may have received a diagnosis of intellectual disability with no further diagnostic assessments conducted to determine if the child also had signs of autism. These children are now being more accurately diagnosed. (2008)
Gnaulati’s present day reasoning makes no mention of the changes that have underwent for the diagnosis of ASD, and his explanation actually refutes Buron & Wolfberg’s claim that professionals have become better at diagnosing. Moreover, Buron & Wolfberg claim that overdiagnosing has been occurring because it is better to be safe than sorry. Gnaulati does not believe in the sake of diagnosing for the fact that the therapeutic procedures that must be undertook are expensive and time consuming. Yet, it would only seem logical to help your child, especially if treatment is only beneficial and not