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Expert Panel Expected To Narrow Definition Of Autism, Related Disorders

FILE - Therapist and Art teacher Janislaidy Valdez (L) plays the guitar to an autistic child. (Photo credit: ADALBERTO ROQUE/AFP/Getty Images)

FILE – Therapist and Art teacher Janislaidy Valdez (L) plays the guitar to an autistic child. (Photo credit: ADALBERTO ROQUE/AFP/Getty Images)

CBS New York (con't)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – The definition of autism may soon change.

An expert panel set up by the American Psychiatric Association is expected to narrow the criteria for autism which could make it a lot harder for people to get health and educational services.

“Tens of thousands of families of children with autism who receive government related services could be affected by a more strict definition that could put funding in jeopardy,” explained 1010 WINS’ Dr. Brian McDonough.

Many experts think the current criteria are too vague and that has led to the recent sharp increases in the rate of diagnoses. At least a million children and adults have been diagnosed with autism or a related disorder like Asperger syndrome.

For more information about autism, visit www.autismspeaks.org.