Is there a reason for the dramatic rise in Aspergers and Autism? Some physicians believe that there is a very problematic reason. They believe that the 41 percent increase in rates of ADHD, Aspergers, and Autism diagnoses over the past decade and the huge spike in bipolar disorder diagnoses. are not the harbinger of a societal problem but rather a seriously problematic push to diagnose the disorders in people who may not actually have the problem.
Dr. Enrico Gnaulati, a clinical psychologist specializing in childhood and adolescent therapy and assessment believes that there are some other issues to blame for the dramatic rise in these diagnoses, including questionable education and training practices that cloud mental health professionals’ ability to distinguish normal from abnormal behavior in children as well as “monetary incentives favoring prescriptions, check-list diagnosing, and high-stakes testing in schools.”
There are some very real issues involved in these diagnoses, but many if not most of those who are diagnosed are merely given the label, according to Gnaulati, and do not have the actual illness or process.
He recommends that before any parent puts their child blithely on psychiatric drugs that they get a second opinion for any diagnoses that requires mental health prescriptions.
Conversely, according to the American Psychiatric Association, there are a lot of children and adults who may actually have the condition who have not been diagnosed due to misdiagnoses, to doctors who were not aware of what the condition is and to health care practitioners who are eager to not jump on the bandwagon. According to the experts, it cuts both ways in that children and adults who may be able to benefit from the diagnoses, treatment and medication have not received it.