On 30 September 2015, LIH Oliva’s Place hosted Dr. Eldon Schulz, Director of Pediatrics and Rehabilitation Medicine, College of Medicine University of Arkansas Medical Sciences (UAMS), at Beijing Boai hospital for academic exchange with doctors and therapists of pediatric rehabilitation. Dr. Schulz gave a presentation titled Autism Spectrum Disorder: An Update.
At his presentation, Dr. Schulz compared the current version of the American Psychiatry Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM-5) with the previous version with respect to autism diagnosis. Some of the things that Dr. Schulz noted for attendees are that in the DSM-5, there is a category called Autism Spectrum Disorders. Pervasive Developmental Disorders and Asperger’s are no longer separate diagnostic options. He also indicated that the DSM-5 has included sensory processing differences in the diagnostic criteria. Symptoms together must limit and impair everyday functioning and must be present in early childhood (the previous version required that symptoms be recognized prior to the age of 3 years). Autism spectrum disorders may be designated as with or without: language impairment, intellectual disability, and/or known medical or genetic condition.
Dr. Schultz mentioned the US Center for Disease Control’s (CDC) Autism Surveillance This program has collected data from 11 sites around the United States since 2000. Results have found that boys are diagnosed five times more often with autism spectrum disorders in the US. The program has also found statistically significant differences among racial/ethnic groups in the US.
Dr. Schultz shared possible reasons for increasing prevalence of autism spectrum disorders, “red flags,” and best practices for diagnosis. Dr. Schulz recommended the following web-based resources to participants: