We were discussing a New Year Times article regarding a proposed change in the Diagnostic Standards Manual. The current review committee suggests folding Aspergers Syndrome (AS) into an overall diagnosis of autism. All your comments, other blog posts and autism forums give me things to think about. Menopausal New Mom voiced my main concern:
“And because I have an insurance background, I would be worried about the decision makers in their ivory towers looking for a way to exclude benefits for some of those levels.”
About a year ago two men had lunch together and decided it made more sense for a project to be under one department rather than the other. They left the restaurant having made the decision without consulting anyone. One of lunch partners sent out an email to the half a dozen organizations affected by the decision. The tone of the mail was “Rather than it being sunny tomorrow, it will be cloudy. No big deal.”
Those who read the email immediately understood the far reach implications of the lunch time decision. The email said to them, “The sun is not coming up tomorrow. We have a lot of contingency plans in place, but the sun not rising wasn’t something we ever considered. It’s now every man for himself.”
This is taking creative license with a true story of what happened to Scott last year. I don’t pretend to know anything about his job and I don’t pretend to want to know. However, Scott came home that day knowing he no longer headed up a project he’d been running the last three years. His company also understood the implications of the lunchtime decision. By the next day the other half a dozen companies and organizations, (which worked jointly on this project) also understood my husband no longer worked on the project or headed the project. My husband received four or five job offers from these other organizations because they wanted to ensure my husband still headed the project. While it was comforting that my husband would walk away with a job, it was stressful as he spent rest of the week trying to make a decision which wouldn’t disrupt the rest of the family. In the end, he stayed with his original company and client, but no longer headed the project, it was a disappointment for him, but a decision which was best for the family.
This is my fear, people will make a decision which makes sense to them but creates a domino affect of unintended consequences. I understand some believe that Asperger’s, PPD-NOS and other mild forms of autism will start receiving services not currently covered. However, to my knowledge, there are no representatives from insurance companies sitting on this review committee. There is no guarantee. Right now, Jonathan is finally receiving services originally denied. What will a change in the DSM-V mean?
On the other hand, we barely receive an Individualized Educational Plan for Jonathan. Originally a diagnosis of Asperger’s did not warrant an IEP. The school did eventually find him eligible to receive special education services under an “autism” and speech and language disability.
Again, thank you for your thoughtful input. I’ll be reading and researching over the next couple of month. And I hope you will join me in the public comment period in January. Let’s remind each other of this.
Jonathan: Mom, guess what Jonathan K had on his t-shirt?
Jonathan gets a piece of paper and writes, “Speeeling iz mi best subgect.”
Jonathan: Isn’t that funny?
Jonathan: He has another t-shirt that says this.
He writes on another piece of paper “Math is my worst subject 2+2=4, 8+8=16, 100+500=600.”
Jonathan: Shouldn’t it be the other way around?
Me: It would seem that it should.
Jonathan: I’m afraid for Jonathan K if spelling his is best subject. What does that say about his math and reading?