Type and Severity of Autism Diagnosis A study that was published in The Journal Pediatrics, compared and studied over 1,300 children ages 3-17, who had been diagnosed with autism either currently or in the past. They found that almost one-third of the children studied “outgrew” their autism diagnosis. The study noted that most of the children who retained an autism diagnosis fell on the mild to severe end of the autism spectrum, and had at least one other condition, such as speech problems, learning disabilities, or anxiety. Whereas, the children who showed signs of improvement were high functioning and on the mild end of the autism spectrum, and had not been diagnosed with any other type of condition.
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Misdiagnosis, Treatment, and Early Intervention
Since the cause of autism is largely unknown, researchers noted that it was unclear if the children who improved did so because of early intervention and successful treatment, or because they had been misdiagnosed to begin with. The number of kids diagnosed with autism grows sharply each year. Though experts encourage testing and diagnosing autism early, in as young as a one year old, they caution that the risk of misdiagnosing increases the younger the child. Early intervention and treatment for autism is often considered the key element to being successful. Children who start receiving treatment at a young age have a higher success rate, as well as a greater chance at being able to manage their symptoms.
The Bottom Line
Most studies stress that “outgrowing” autism is rare and is dependent on various other factors. The thing to remember is that early intervention and parental support are important to the success of any child with learning differences or challenges – autism or not. Sources: WebMD.com | DisabilityScoop.com | HealthLand.Time.com | WSJ.com Can Your Child “Outgrow” Autism? Shandy Marso, Contributor