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Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Self-Diagnosis and Neurodiversity

In The Politics of Autism, I discuss the neurodiversity movement. At The Washington Post,  Sandhya Somashekhar writes:
Because receiving a formal diagnosis as an adult can involve an expensive battery of tests not covered by health insurance, many autistic people who do not need to qualify for special services ­self-diagnose using information they find online and other places.
Recently, the movement has logged some policy victories. A Washington-based nonprofit called the Autistic Self Advocacy Network successfully pushed Congress last year to rename the reauthorization bill for autism funding. Instead of the “Combating Autism Act” it was dubbed the “Autism CARES Act,” or Autism Collaboration, Accountability, Research, Education and Support Act. The group also led a successful campaign to increase the minimum wage for disabled workers at firms that receive federal contracts.
One open question:  how many of the self-diagnosed adults would actually qualify for a diagnosis from a trained professional?  Jerry Seinfeld took heat when he casually suggested that he might be on the spectrum.