With autism rising in Australia and New Zealand, a new definition is needed to distinguish between those who have been diagnosed and those who are not.
In 2017, the Australian Government made the move to allow children and young people with autism to be labelled, which has led to confusion in the industry.
Now, a group of experts from the Autism Speaks Association has called for a new classification to be introduced.
“This is an important time to do this,” said Professor James Flanders from the University of Sydney, the lead author of the report.
The new classification is the result of research by the Association of Autism Speakers and the National Autism Network. “
And it’s going do a better job at identifying those who may be at higher risk.”
The new classification is the result of research by the Association of Autism Speakers and the National Autism Network.
The report says the new definition “may be more accurate” than current autism standards.
But the experts warn that the new criteria may also “fail to accurately identify people with ASD, and so will fail to protect children”.
They point to a lack of reliable and independent data on the prevalence of autism and the impact of treatments on autism in children and adults.
“The report says that there’s no reliable data on this,” Dr Flanders said.
Professor Flanders says autism is a “very complex” condition that can impact on a person’s social skills, as well as physical and cognitive development. “
So there’s a lack to support the claims that this is more accurate than current standards.”
Professor Flanders says autism is a “very complex” condition that can impact on a person’s social skills, as well as physical and cognitive development.
He says the current standards may be “too high” for children.
“We’re not saying we’re going to be making the diagnosis of autism, but we are saying that we have a very high threshold of what we consider to be autism,” he said.
The new autism classification is set to be published in 2018.
Autism expert James Folsom is worried about the new classification.
Photo: ABC News: James Foesom Autism experts say the current standard is “too harsh” and may be misleading.
Autism Speak’s national director, Dr Richard Brown, says it’s important for parents to know the difference between people with an autism diagnosis and those not diagnosed with the condition.
“As well as a lack in information, a lack [of] understanding of the symptoms and their impact, there is also a lack for evidence to support treatment decisions,” he says.
The Australian Autism Society says the proposed autism classification should be updated every two years.
“In our view, it is a poor measure of autism,” Dr Brown said.