The Arc comments on draft Diagnostic criteria

On June 15, The Arc submitted comments to the American Psychiatric Association regarding the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM-5) draft diagnostic criteria for “Intellectual Developmental Disorder” and “Autism Spectrum Disorder.” DSM definitions are critically important to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) as numerous federal and state programs as well as private health insurance plans use the DSM to determine eligibility for critical services and supports. Changes to the diagnostic criteria could have devastating effects on individuals with I/DD who need services, supports, and basic protections to remain in their communities. For instance, some individuals could lose eligibility for special education services, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), supportive housing, and protections against discrimination under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) if changes are made to the DSM and later adopted by government agencies. Read The Arc’s letter.