Jury Still Out on New Autism Diagnosis Description
New changes in the medical diagnosis manual were released in mid-May, raising questions whether the revised descriptions will impact services to those with autism.
The Autism Society of Hawaii has attached an information sheet on the changes to the latest Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (also called DSM-5), the book that medical providers, insurers and agencies reference in treating and approving services.
The changes relating to autism include the elimination of "Asperger's syndrome" as a separate diagnosis. It's been incorporated under the umbrella definition for "autism spectrum disorder" along with "childhood disintegrative disorder" and "pervasive developmental disorder, not otherwise specified." Disability Scoop provides coverage of these changes.
While we are told by American Psychiatric Association, drafters of the new description, that individuals will not lose services or will not be denied services as a result of the changes, it is too early to say for sure, says Autism Society of Hawaii Executive Director Jessica Wong-Sumida. Each government entity and service provider may choose to ask for a re-diagnoses if it wishes. Additoinally, given the need for many states to reduce costs, it is possible that the changes may impact those with autism who currently receive government-funded services.
As noted in the attached information sheet, ASH encourages any person or family impacted by the DSM-5 changes, such as reductions or elimination of their services, to pursue all options available to continue the services, said Wong-Sumida.
The Autism Society has trained and certified professionals available seven days a week at the AutismSource Contact Center to answer calls from parents or individuals regarding what to do if a change is made to services. The center can be reached at 1-800-3-AUTISM (1-800-328-8476).
Please also email ASH at firstname.lastname@example.org so that it can be aware of any service reductions resulting from the DSM-5 changes.
Join the ASH fun-draiser and get fit!
Help us kick off Autism Awareness Month by joining our get fit fundraiser on Sunday, April 7, 9 a.m. to noon, at the Roosevelt High School track field, 1120 Nehoa St.
For a $10 donation, adults can join the Burpee Battle. It's easy! What do you do to complete a Burpee?
2. Kick your feet behind you and arrive in a push-up position
3. Lower your chest to the ground, press back up to complete the push up
4. Pull your feet back into the squat position, and
5. Jump up in the air while clapping your hands overhead. (If you watch the video for a demo, note that we've added the clap and we won't do the rings at the end!)
Complete as many BURPEES as possible in 2 x 20 minute intervals. Each person may participate in one or both intervals. Participants who complete one interval are eligible to win one of many donated prizes.
For kids with autism, we've got FUN FITNESS:
Trainers from CrossFit HTF will present their Fun Fitness program for the children at different stations for the children to participate in. There will be a variety of fun activities for the children and adults, plus local vendors, an open market and much more!
Registration is on site, but please email email@example.com to sign up. Call 808-497-1750 for more information!
Sign up for sensory-friendly film showing of The Croods
ASH is happy to partner with Hawaii Behavioral Health to present the first sensory-friendly film of the year, The Croods, for Autism Awareness Month on Sunday, April 28, at 9:30 a.m.
The Croods is a Dreamworks Animation film about a rock age family that is thrust into a new world.
A big THANK YOU to Hawaii Behavioral Health for sponsoring 70 seats and making this event possible! We continue to hope that this will be the start of ‘Sensory Friendly Films’ with Consolidated Theaters.
The movie will be shown at Ward Consolidated Theaters; doors open at 9 a.m. This event will be free for the first 140 children and their families.
Sensory-friendly film means the lights are a little more raised, the sounds are a bit softer, and there’s an acceptance of "stimming" behaviors and gluten-free, cassein-free snacks.
RSVPs are required; please email firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve your seats.
Workshops for Siblings Set for February to May
ASH is pleased announce the start of Sibshops, the workshops to help siblings cope with the issues of having a family member with challenges.
Disabilities, illness, and mental health issues affect the lives of all family members. We want to increase the peer support and information opportunities for brothers and sisters of people with special needs and to increase parents' understanding of sibling issues.
Two workshops — one for siblings age 8 to 12 and the second for teen siblings age 13 to 17 — are available to any sibling of a child with a disability. The cost is $10 per class. Scholarships and family discounts ($5) are available.