Subsequent to the publication of the DSM-5, the federal Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC) released a “Statement from the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee Regarding Scientific, Practice and Policy Implications of Changes in the Diagnostic Criteria for Autism Spectrum Disorder (DSM-5)”. The IACC is a federal advisory committee, composed of federal and public members, that coordinates ASD-related activities within the United States Federal Government. The committee identified several ways in which the change in diagnostic criteria might affect access to diagnostic, treatment, and other services. The statement identifies several research questions related to the implementation of the new ASD criteria, including reliability and validity of the criteria and severity ratings, an evaluation of whether some individuals will see a change in their diagnosis, whether there is a need for new or revised screening and diagnostic tools and processes, and potential implications for the ASD community support and access to services.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) have invested significantly ($192 million in fiscal year 2012) in biomedical, treatment and services research related to ASD. In an effort to further align its research priorities with the needs of individuals with ASD and their families, the NIH is soliciting further input about the implications of changes in ASD diagnostic criteria for autism research, as well as input into the potential for research to inform concerns and questions related to clinical practice and policy.