Let’s put Autism in a box, shall we?

Then we can wrap it up in pretty paper, slap a bow on it, hand it to a person and say, you are granted disability.

Wow, if only it were that easy. But it sounds like that’s the aim of this proposal.

Basically, the DCM is trying to put guidelines on what makes Autism a disability. Like, you should have signs as a child, or you should repeat stuff a lot. What about the disabling migraines, the sleep problems, the sensory integration issues? Why do they need to make it fit into a tiny little box, all nice and neat and cozy???

I can tell you that’s just impossible! I can’t even narrow down information to really get a handle on Autism for this month on my blog. How can they say “you’re only autistic if you fall into our guidelines”?

Do I sound angry? You bet I am. It’s not just autism they do this with. I have personal experience with how they do it with MS too. I was denied twice and figured well if they thought I needed to work full time, I guess I can. So I went to work full time and was blind four months later. Should they change the guidelines for MS to say you’re only considered to have a disability if your MS makes you go blind? It’s like they forget that it’s progressive. But I’m not here to rant about my situation, only to say that I relate to the fear this must be causeing for people with Autism.

Katrin brought this to my attention in a comment, and I hope she won’t mind that I’m gonna post her comment in this post. Here is what she said:

“I am currently concerned about the proposed changes. I wasn’t at the beginning but just recently they put out exactly what they plan to do and it concerns me as a person who wasn’t dx as a young child and who doesn’t really engage in repetitious behaviors to the extent that it would be disabling and who isn’t nonverbal nor has ever been, but my drs and various specialists have all stated without a doubt that they consider me autistic and disabled because of it.

If the APA goes through with this, depending on how various fed agencies interpret it it could have very bad consequences on my benifits and health insurance as well as on many other adults on the spectrum.”

See what this might do? Ok so I guess this is where I should maybe retract what I said about the word disabled. Obviously, some of us are “disabled” enough that we need assistence with social security and health benefits. Like Katrin said, she can’t work forty hours a week. Neither can I. But who can live on less without any help? And I think that a lot of us with a disability can’t manage to pull off a forty hour work week. I’m sure I could do a little, to supplement my benefits, but I refuse to work forty hours a week again, after what happened last time.

I really hope that people’s doctors can do something about this if this proposal passes. I just can’t even believe this. Arrrrg ok my blood pressure is rising I better stop writing.


Filed under Autism, awareness month

3 Responses to Let’s put Autism in a box, shall we?

  1. As my therapist said “the devil is in the details” it all depends on how various agencies interpret the changes and what they decide to do about it. Just makes me nervous.

  2. Anonymous

    Remember how I said the DCM didn’t sound right? It is the DSM-IV you guys are referring to…

    The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders,or the DSM, is published by the American Psychiatric Association and provides a common language and standard criteria for the classification of mental disorders. It is used in the United States and in varying degrees around the world, by clinicians, researchers, psychiatric drug regulation agencies, health insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies and policy makers. The last major revision was the fourth edition known as the DSM-IV.


  3. Ro

    Ah the famous Carol comments. You should comment more often so people know I’m not making you up. Thanks for the clarification!

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