Can you outgrow Autism?

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autism advert (Photo credit: natalia love)

Can you outgrow Autism? If you can outgrow Autism, then will you lose your diagnosis altogether? These are questions I have often wondered about.

Of course if you lose the Autism diagnosis, then you lose some if not all of the government and state benefits you may receive and will the person with Autism now feel like they have lost a part of their identity if they no longer have Autism? So, I am on a quest to see what others have to say about my question and this is what I have found out.

In the new study, published online in the Journal of Child Psychology and PsychiatryWednesday and supported by the National Institutes of Health, Fein and her colleagues looked at 34 “optimal outcome” individuals between 8 and 21 who were previously diagnosed with an autism disorder, but are now indistinguishable from their non-autistic peers. They showed no problems with language, communication, social interaction and “facial recognition,” which can be difficult for individuals with autism.

Fein and her colleagues are currently exploring why some children shed their autism diagnosis as they age, relying largely on parents’ reports about the treatments they received. The researchers also use brain imaging to see whether their brains have normalized, or if they are somehow compensating for the disorder.

The study also found, not surprisingly, that having a higher IQ was associated with optimal outcomes. “It is possible that above average cognition allowed individuals with ASD to compensate,”

“Most of us in the field certainly agree that the most important outcome is happiness, functionality, and high quality of life,” Ozonoff says, “We do not mean to imply that OO (or recovery) is the only outcome worth working toward. We do not want to suggest that any other outcome is tragic and hopeless. There are many very special qualities and ways of being that autism can bring to individuals and to all of us in general.”

The researchers also caution that most autistic people will continue to have symptoms: earlier studies, which may have included inaccurate diagnoses, have suggested that only about 3% to 25% children who receive a diagnosis will eventually lose it.

Ok, so some people can lose their Autistic tendencies when they get older. That is great, but according to Dr. Fein they are usually the higher functioning autistic or Aspie’s that do. At least that is what I got out of her findings.

So I wonder, if your child could be cured of Autism and all that is associated with Autism. Would the person who has Autism like it or not? I suppose if you just naturally out grow Autism it would be ok because I am sure that it would have been done over a long period of time.

As parents we want what is best for our children whether they have challenges or not. Sarah has always told me that it is not the Autism that bothers her so much as the Tourette’s  and Schizophrenia does. 

I know that Autism is pretty much a blanket diagnosis, but if a person with an early diagnosis of Autism did not have Autism when they grew older, would you not feel like part of your identity was gone? I only ask that because there are a few people with Autism that have embraced their diagnosis and seem to miss it when it is gone.



One thought on “Can you outgrow Autism?

  1. Pingback: Can you outgrow Autism? | Sarah's Voice

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