Autism and treatment for its various complications is becoming one of the most discussed mandates. Autism is a brain disorder that affects three areas of development: communication, social interaction, and creative or imaginative play. In the past, autism has fallen under the broader category of mental health, but one of the latest state legislative trends is to pass a standalone autism mandate separate from mental health benefit mandates. Thus far, 25 states have passed autism mandates, but the number of bills introduced has grown each year. With advances in the diagnosis (including a new rapid test to screen for autism) and treatment, autism mandates will likely remain high on legislative priority lists.
This small preliminary study is a valuable contribution to the search for a better way of identifying autism, a condition that can be difficult to diagnose due to its wide range of causes, types and symptoms. However, it is not possible to say at present whether such a technique could replace or even aid current diagnostic methods in the near future. Far bigger studies comparing the brain scans of larger numbers of people with ASD and those without the condition are now needed to assess whether this scan is accurate enough for widespread use.