There is controversy regarding criteria for autism. Some researchers say that standard of autism will be narrowed with the new criteria.
MDLinx: New autism definition may decrease diagnosis by one third
Indeed, DSM-5 defines autism more strictly than previous guidelines. It will make clinicians hesitate to diagnose patients as autism. It is understandable that some patients and families worry about it. Rather, I guess that narrowing the criteria of autism is intentionally introduced with DSM-5.
The amount of the patients with autism is rapidly increasing. The prevalence rate is rising at three times as much in this ten years.
Autism speaks: Prevalence of Autism Rises
In general, the prevalence rate is influenced by three factors. First, the personal environment affects the pathophysiology of some diseases. For example, pregnancy in older mothers is increasing in developed countries. Aged parents is a risk factor of autism. Second, social function is also decisive. Many developing countries cannot estimate the prevalence rate of autism. In these regions autistic behaviors may be not recognized as problematic. The third is an artificial definition, as this case.
It is certain that some patients with autism need for help. Autism is a spectrum disorder. Thus, there is no mechanical definition. The issue is the threshold of it. And it depends on the nature of society.