Children 'may grow out of autism'
  • BeerWenchBeerWench
    Posts: 2,819Member

    Interesting read... What are your thoughts? 




    Children 'may grow out of autism'

    Four-year-old boy with autism Is a label of autism

    Related Stories

    Some young children accurately
    diagnosed as autistic lose their symptoms and their diagnosis as they get older,
    say US researchers.

    The findings of the National Institutes of Health study of 112 children
    appears to challenge the widely held belief that autism is a lifelong

    While not conclusive, the study, in the Journal
    of Child Psychology and Psychiatry
    , suggests some children might possibly
    outgrow autism.

    But experts urge caution.

    Much more work is needed to find out what might explain the findings.

    Dr Deborah Fein and her team at the University of Connecticut studied 34
    children who had been diagnosed with autism in early childhood but went on to
    function as well as 34 other children in their classes at school.

    Although the diagnosis of autism is not usually lost over
    time, the findings suggest that there is a very wide range of possible

    End Quote Dr Thomas Insel Director of the National Institute of Mental

    On tests - cognitive and observational, as well as
    reports from the children's parents and school - they were indistinguishable
    from their classroom peers. They now showed no sign of problems with language,
    face recognition, communication or social interaction.

    For comparison, the researchers also studied another 44 children of the same
    age, sex and non-verbal IQ level who had had a diagnosis of "high-functioning"
    autism - meaning they were deemed to be less severely affected by their

    It became clear that the children in the optimal outcome group - the ones who
    no longer had recognisable signs of autism - had had milder social deficits than
    the high-functioning autism group in early childhood, although they did have
    other autism symptoms, like repetitive behaviours and communication problems,
    that were as severe.

    The researchers went back and checked the accuracy of the children's original
    diagnosis, but found no reason to suspect that they had been inaccurate.

    boy with autism Symptoms may be masked as they
    learn how to adapt to their condition

    for life?

    The researchers say there are a number of possible explanations for their

    It might be that some children genuinely outgrow their condition. Or perhaps
    some can compensate for autism-related difficulties.

    Dr Thomas Insel, director of the National Institute of Mental Health, said:
    "Although the diagnosis of autism is not usually lost over time, the findings
    suggest that there is a very wide range of possible outcomes.


    • People with autism usually have difficulties with social communication,
      social interaction and social imagination
    • It is a spectrum condition meaning while all people with autism share
      certain difficulties, the condition affects them differently
    • There are over 500,000 people with autism in the UK - that's one in every
    • There is no cure but there are a range of interventions available

    Source: NHS Choices

    "Subsequent reports from this study should tell us more
    about the nature of autism and the role of therapy and other factors in the long
    term outcome for these children."

    It could be that autism cannot always be accurately defined or diagnosed,
    particularly since the condition affects people in different ways.

    Indeed, experts have disagreed about what autism is.

    The American Psychiatric Association is currently revising its diagnostic
    manual - the "bible" for doctors that lists every psychiatric disorder and their

    Its new version proposes changes he UK's National Autistic Society says could
    affect the way diagnoses will be given to people on the autism spectrum.

    With intensive therapy and support, it's possible for a
    small sub-group of high functioning individuals with autism to learn coping
    behaviours and strategies which would 'mask' their underlying

    End Quote Dr Judith Gould National Autistic Society

    Instead of using the current terms of autistic disorder,
    Asperger's disorder, childhood disintegrative disorder and PDD-NOS (pervasive
    developmental disorder not otherwise specified), people will be given an
    umbrella diagnosis of "autism spectrum disorder".

    And their impairments will be reduced to two main areas - social
    communication/interaction and restricted, repetitive patterns of behaviour,
    interests, or activities.

    Most diagnoses in the UK are based on the International Classification of
    Diseases (ICD), published by the World Health Organization, which is up for
    revision in 2015.

    According to the National Autistic Society, more than one in every 100
    people, more than 500,000 people in all, in the UK have autism.

    About a fifth, an estimated 106,000, are school-aged children.

    Dr Judith Gould, director of the National Autistic Society's Lorna Wing
    Centre for Autism, said: "Autism is a lifelong disability affecting the way that
    people communicate and interact with others.

    "This study is looking at a small sample of high functioning people with
    autism and we would urge people not to jump to conclusions about the nature and
    complexity of autism, as well its longevity.

    "With intensive therapy and support, it's possible for a small sub-group of
    high functioning individuals with autism to learn coping behaviours and
    strategies which would 'mask' their underlying condition and change their
    scoring in the diagnostic tests used to determine their condition in this

    "This research acknowledges that a diagnosis of autism is not usually lost
    over time and it is important to recognise the support that people with autism
    need in order to live the lives of their choosing."

    She said getting a diagnosis could be a critical milestone for children with
    autism and their families, often helping parents to understand their children
    better and helping them to support their children in reaching their full

    :¦:-•:*'""*:•.-:¦:-•** She who leaves a trail of glitter is never forgotten**•-:¦:-•:*'""*:• -:¦:-
  • meandmy243meandmy243
    Posts: 9,474Member
    So would this be addressing that children who have autistic tendencies as infants and young children (birth to age5) who are diagnosed autistic may be able to lose the label? my son is on the very far out reach of the umbrella he has social issues and so forth and has been called autistic though because his tendancies are so far out i will not allow his doctors to label him as autistic just to have another spectrum disorder on his list of issues. does this say i have a valid point or does this say im harming my child by not allowing the label. im confused. i think my son is socially immature because of the size difference and the way people treat him. i get bashed irl because people think im treating him harshly be cause he looks 4 yrs old not almost 7. they say my expectations are to high. Even after they find out how old he is they still think i should treat him differently. i really dont get the autism spectrum. should it be a personal choice?
    let them eat cake! because id rather have pie!!!
  • momofdbbmomofdbb
    Posts: 10,900Member
    I don't know. I have read that post several times trying to figure it out and be sure I'm reading it right. My DS was diagnosed Aspergers.i know that is not diagnosed anymore and he is concisered under the autism umbrella but just barely. He has social issues and moter skill issues. I have friends on Facebook that are adults with autism. Not the same diagnosis as DS.
    " Wibbly wobbly timey wimey ......." The Doctor
    " I'm a leafe on the how I soar ." Wash :((
    " Oh the wall had it comming.' Sherlock Holmes
    yea I am geek !!
  • forkinthehead
    Posts: 482Member
    I saw this on the morning news, sounds interesting and I hope that it is true. I
  • CrashCrash
    Posts: 10,571Member
    I can see this being true to a degree. I have a friend who had a fairly autistic child a few years ago. Now he says that while he and his SO can tell through some very slight signs that the kid is autistic, strangers and people at school seldom can. And the kid's almost 7. I'm guessing by the time he's 10 or 12, he may well not exhibit any autistic signs at all.

    Also, I think how the autism was treated is a big part of it. How much early intervention was there? You always read books about autism interventions where the happy story is at the end of a teenager who everyone loves, gets great marks, has a part time job, and no one would even be able to tell she/he had autism. 

    Why be a king when you can be a God?
  • BeerWenchBeerWench
    Posts: 2,819Member

    First, let me say I don't have any disabled children.

    It seems that I've read articles lately about treating autisim with diet and intervention.  I'm wondering if there are really two seperate disabilities -- one that can be treated and another that can't. 

    :¦:-•:*'""*:•.-:¦:-•** She who leaves a trail of glitter is never forgotten**•-:¦:-•:*'""*:• -:¦:-
  • CrashCrash
    Posts: 10,571Member
    My friend with the kid is *huge* into diet treatment. No gluten, no dairy, tons of supplements. He sends his kid's urine away for analysis to Great Plains all the time to keep up with what's in it and what's supposed to be there. 
    Why be a king when you can be a God?
  • momofdbbmomofdbb
    Posts: 10,900Member
    Interesting thought. Could be. I haven't noticed that much about what DS eats and his behavior other than don't give him Caffine after 4 pm or he will not go to sleep !! There are many diffrent diagnosis that are so simular. I was diagnosed with ADD but think I might be diagnosed as Autistic if I was a kid now. Several things have simular symptoms. Aspergers has many of the symptoms of Fetal Acholol Syndrome. At the same time many kids who have FAS have Aspergers. I know someone on Facebook who is an adult who has both.
    " Wibbly wobbly timey wimey ......." The Doctor
    " I'm a leafe on the how I soar ." Wash :((
    " Oh the wall had it comming.' Sherlock Holmes
    yea I am geek !!
  • GingersnapGingersnap
    Posts: 9,696Member
    I think there is a percentage of children on the spectrum who can "grow out of their diagnosis". At this time, Autism is diagnosed through behavioral observation, not lab tests, so I it seems reasonable to me that percentage of autistics will lose their diagnosis as they grow and learn. I have some concerns about what this may mean for them understanding themselves - their brains may still function differently, even if they can "pass" for neurotypical. If they were diagnosed as autistic, but they are in fact now NTs, that's fine, but I would want anyone that had been diagnosed as autistic to be aware that there *may be* some differences, for example, possibly in the areas of sensory processing and microexpression interpretation. 

    I do believe that early interventions and treating the whole body are the best ways to assist children with autism. I think that it's hard to perform your best if you have an underlying physical issue, or if your sensory needs are not being met. 

    DS9 made leaps and bounds in his development when I stopped feeding him gluten and dairy *because he has Celiac's Disease*. After his gut healed from gluten exposure, he is able to digest dairy with no ill effects unless he is exposed to gluten again. There are a lot of food and environmental sensitivities and allergies that can adversely impact the body. I think it's a good idea for everybody to address these issues, but it seems more pressing when something as simple as a gluten exposure will wreak havoc on my son's neurological processes. He had a bite of brownie and after he recovered from the initial illness (day one: retching, bowel problems) he had trouble for the following week and half walking, talking, going through normal routines, focus, and sleep disturbances. 

    I've seen good results from properly trained ABA teachers. I think there are other approaches that may work better for other kids. (YMMV)

    My goal is not to cure my sons. My goal is to help them be the most independent (or interdependent) adults they can be. I think there is value in Autism and that this other way of experiencing the world is an asset to society. That being said, I do worry and I do struggle. 
    “The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are.” ― Joseph Campbell
  • GingersnapGingersnap
    Posts: 9,696Member
    “The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are.” ― Joseph Campbell
  • tryingtohangon
    Posts: 72Member
    My son has Asperger's. I dont think they outgrow it. I can see that he is learning coping mechanisms to be able to function within society's norms. More and more he seems more "typical" but then we will have a day where I have to explain why you cant ask the mom at daycare if their kids are that bad at home. Even though lights, noise, etc do not seem to bother him as much he still needs a lot of coaching socially. 
  • tryingtohangon
    Posts: 72Member
    @Gingersnap - good article. My son can complete certain tasks much more thoroughly than his peers. Although not math!! 
  • BellaBefanaBellaBefana
    Posts: 10,374Member
    From what I've seen and from my studies in college, autism isn't something one grows out of, I would think that it was misdiagnosed originally, if that's the case. I know there can be some improvements in ADL's, but I'd have to disagree about growing out of it.

    But this is what bugs me about labels such as this, these things follow people around for their entire lives, and what, when their 30 and a gazillionnaire because they were brilliant and awkward, someone says, oops, my bad, sorry.
    Bite me, cupcake!
  • momofdbbmomofdbb
    Posts: 10,900Member
    My opinion is that the kids don't outgrow it but they do learn how to cope and manage their symptoms. So they don't stop being autistic they just get better at blending in to NT life.
    " Wibbly wobbly timey wimey ......." The Doctor
    " I'm a leafe on the how I soar ." Wash :((
    " Oh the wall had it comming.' Sherlock Holmes
    yea I am geek !!
  • CrashCrash
    Posts: 10,571Member
    By definition, then, @momofdbb, that *is* growing out of autism. Autism is simply a spectrum of  developmental delay with possibly sensitivity issues. If they learn to deal with it, and not have it affect their normal every day life to the point that they no longer register on the autistic spectrum, they have grown out of it. There are tons of people who are highly sensitive who aren't autistic. There are people who used to have speech delays who have caught up. There are people with social awkwardness who are not in any way autistic. In some ways, we're all a little autistic. Some people more than others.
    Why be a king when you can be a God?