My eldest, Duncan, was diagnosed at 5 1/2 with Aspergers (no surprise there!). My other son, Tristan aged 4, was diagnosed with Atypical autism the same day (a relief not a surprise). It is also called Pervasive Developmental Disorder - Not Otherwise Specified or PDD-NOS. They are both a part of the Spectrum of Autism Disorders.
These diagnoses enabled funding to be unlocked for Early Intervention equipment and services. I am very grateful for that. It meant $12 000 until they turned 7. We used up a lot more EI services for Tristan (Speech, OT, and EI) and mostly equipment for Duncan (sensory tools, slope boards, tripp trapp chairs, ipad). Both the boys are THRIVING NOT JUST SURVIVING in mainstream schooling because of this help.
But now the mechanism for that diagnosis, the DSM - IV is undergoing some serious changes to become the DSM-V, changes that could see that funding denied to many families in our situation with young children. I will not elaborate any more other than pointing you to some terrific commentaries on these changes.
DSM-V et al in 'The Conversation' by Andrew Whitehouse
DSM-5 in 'Australian Doctor' by David Brill
Proposed DSM-5 Changes in 'Autism Support Network' by Michelle Winner
I am not quite sure how these revisions will affect me and the boys personally but it is concerning enough to read up on the topic.