Monday, July 8, 2024

Do Kids Grow Out Of Autism

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What Is The Difference Between Outgrowing And Radically Improving

Will They Ever Grow Out Of It? (Autistic Behaviour)

According to the DSM, anyone who was every correctly diagnosed with autism will always be autistic, even they do not appear to have the symptoms of autism. The fact that they are not showing any significant symptoms is a testament to their ability to “mask” or “manage” their challenges. This interpretation is shared by many functional adults who were diagnosed with autism as children. They say “inside I’m still autisticbut I’ve learned to change my behaviors and manage my feelings.” In other words, there is some basic difference that makes autistic people autistic, and that basic difference doesn’t go away, even if behavioral symptoms disappear.

Then there are those who have a very different point of view. Their perspective: if a person no longer exhibits sufficient symptoms for an autism diagnosis, then she has outgrown autism. In other words, the therapies worked and the autism is gone.

Who is right? When symptoms are no longer obvious to an outside observer, have they been “outgrown?” “cured?” “masked?”

As with so many things related to autism, there is no absolutely correct answer to this question. And the uncertainty extends into the professional realm. Yes, there are practitioners who will remove the autism label, saying “the autism is gone.” And yes, there are practitioners who will keep the label, saying “autism never truly disappears, though its symptoms may not be evident.” By choosing your practitioner carefully, you may be able to get the answer you prefer!

It Is True That There May Be A Link To Pesticides

A recent study published in the BMJsuggests that prenatal exposure to pesticides within 2000 meters of the mothers home does increase the risk of autism spectrum disorder, as did exposure to pesticides during infancy.

The studys lead author, Ondine von Ehrenstein, told Time the results indicate that babies are vulnerable to certain pesticides both before and after birth. I would hope that these findings would make some policy makers think about effective public health policy measures to protect populations who may be vulnerable and living in areas that could put them at higher risk, she explains.

Autism Can Be Misdiagnosed

In some cases, a practitioner may put an “autism” label on a child because of behaviors and symptoms that fit the criteria of autism but miss other issues that underlie the behaviors. Not only are many symptoms of autism shared by other related , but some autism-like symptoms may be caused by physical issues that can be addressed. For example:

  • Late or disordered speech, a classic symptom of autism, can be caused by many different issues ranging from Apraxia of Speech to hearing loss. Address the underlying issues, and typical speech may emerge.
  • Sensory challenges can lead to autism-like behavior, but it is very possible to have sensory dysfunction without being autistic. Help a child to manage or avoid sensory assaults, and many of the behaviors will disappear.
  • Some autism-like behaviors can result from allergies, toxins, or food intolerances. If a child is allergic to or intolerant of casein or gluten, for example, removing those items from their diet can have a tremendous positive impact on learning and behavior.
  • In some cases, children are diagnosed with autism when a more appropriate diagnosis might be Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Social Anxiety, or Non-Verbal Learning Disorder. When that’s the case, it’s possible for a combination of cognitive therapy and appropriate medication to essentially eradicate the problem.

Also Check: Heritability Of Autism

Some Children Can ‘recover’ From Autism But Problems Often Remain Study Finds

Albert Einstein College of Medicine
Research in the past several years has shown that children can outgrow a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder , once considered a lifelong condition. In a new study, researchers have found that the vast majority of such children still have difficulties that require therapeutic and educational support.

Research in the past several years has shown that children can outgrow a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder , once considered a lifelong condition. In a new study, researchers at Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Montefiore Health System have found that the vast majority of such children still have difficulties that require therapeutic and educational support. The study was published online today in the Journal of Child Neurology.

“It’s certainly encouraging to confirm that a subset of children with early ASD diagnosis accompanied by developmental delays can in essence recover from the disorder and go on to have typical social and cognitive functioning,” said lead author Lisa Shulman, M.D., professor of pediatrics at Einstein and interim director of the Rose F. Kennedy Children’s Evaluation and Rehabilitation Center at Montefiore. “But by and large, these children continue to struggle with daily life. Almost all of them still have to contend with language and learning disabilities and a variety of emotional and behavioral problems.”

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Can People Really Grow Out Of Autism

Autistic children may grow out of it

A boy with autism. For the Artistic Mothers Group: Samuel Study.

Lets start with the headlines blaring the news about a recent autism study. They almost invariably use the phrase grow out of autism, even though the study itself does not use that phrase or even reference grow except to talk about head circumference. Instead, the authors of the report, published in The Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, use the term optimal outcomes to describe what they detected in a group of 34 people who were diagnosed as autistic when they were under age 5.

As the study authors themselves state, this idea that autistic people might show reduced deficits to the point of losing a diagnosis is not new. In fact, first author Deborah Fein and colleagues cite studies identifying frequencies of optimal outcomes as high as 37% among autistic people. The lingering open questions relate to whether or not the autistic people in these studies had received the correct diagnosis in the first place. The only novelty of these latest results appears to be confirmation that indeed, the 34 people they identified as having an optimal outcome did receive an accurate diagnosis of autism in childhood. In other words, they are confirmed to have had a developmental disorder, a neurobiological condition called autism yet, they grew out of it.

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You Do Not Outgrow Being Autistic

You dont grow out of autism. Its not some phase a person is going through. Autism doesnt end at 18. Regardless of the stories you may have read on the Internet or social media accounts, it is incredibly uncommon for a child who is accurately diagnosed as autistic to become an adult who is no longer autistic. So those ridiculous theories of how to cure autism not only are they dehumanizing, theyre false.

Autistic children may build some strong skills and overcome some challenges that may make their autism less obvious. There is a difference between overcoming challenges and overcoming autism. Being autistic is lifelong. There is no overcoming of that, its part of who they are.

My child was born autistic. I always knew in my gut he was different. Beautifully different. It is despicable how our society treats autistic individuals. The system has failed the autistic community. It tries to convince parents that we have a broken child. No. My child is not broken.

As a mother, I fight hard and advocate for the services my child needs and deserves for his quality of life. How awful that we have to fight, appeal and argue for these needs. As adults, they often have to fight even harder for themselves, especially when their parents pass away.

Autistic individuals feel things differently, hear things differently, taste things differently, see things differently, and process things differently. They are different. Not less.

Its True That Grandparents May Notice It First

A study published in the journal Autism found that a quarter of parents of kids diagnosed with ASD reported that someone other than mom or dad was the first to suggest their child might think differently. Of those, nearly 60% said it was the childs grandmother who first brought up the possibility of ASD.

Its not that becoming a grandmother makes people automatically great at spotting Autism, but rather that parents who are with their children every single day may not notice things that a close yet not daily observer might.

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Signs In Boys Vs Girls

The symptoms of autism are generally the same for both boys and girls. However, because autism is diagnosed in boys far more often than girls , classic symptoms are often described in a skewed manor.

For example, an excessive interest in trains, the wheels on trucks, or strange dinosaur trivia is often very noticeable. A girl who doesnt play with trains, trucks, or dinosaurs might display less noticeable behaviors, like arranging or dressing dolls in a particular way.

High-functioning girls also have an easier time mimicking average social behaviors. Social skills may be more innate in girls, which can make impairments less noticeable.

How Is Autism Spectrum Disorder Diagnosed

Coaching Corner: Can children grow out of Asperger’s or autism?

There are no laboratory tests to determine ASD. However, certain healthcare providers receive specific training and can do screenings and evaluations if needed and who might ask parents or teachers to record observations. These providers might include specialized physicians, psychologists and speech-language pathologists.

Recommended Reading: Average Lifespan Of An Autistic Person

Study Limitations & Possible Conclusions

There are limitations to these studies that affect how we can interpret the results.

  • Misdiagnosis: A possible reason for a change in an autism diagnosis is that a child was misdiagnosed in the first place. Many of the studies use a childs prior medical records to verify that the child has autism. The childs diagnosis is not verified through separate testing and assessment.Children can be diagnosed with autism as young as 18 months old, but many of the developmental delays that indicate autism can even out by age 2 or so. Because of this, an autism diagnosis is often not considered stable until at least age 2. Children who are diagnosed too early can be misdiagnosed.
  • Higher innate cognitive abilities: Children in the autism studies who achieve the optimal outcome often begin with a higher level of cognitive abilities and higher IQs than what is considered standard. These children are potentially better equipped to learn how to manage autism and observe social cues to mask their autistic symptoms later in life. Many children have mild symptoms that go unnoticed until they start school. Social pressures become too overwhelming, and these mild symptoms may begin to show. These children didnt suddenly develop autism. They have merely been hiding their symptoms. They developed coping skills on their own that worked up until this point.

Can You Grow Out Of Asthma

One in twelve U.S. kids suffers from asthma, making it the most common chronic condition among children and teens. This incurable respiratory disease usually starts young, even during infancy, and can range from fairly mild to very scary, even becoming life-threatening if not managed properly. Although kids dont outgrow asthma per se, it often becomes less severe as they move into middle and high school.

With asthma, the airways of the lungs easily become swollen, giving air less space to move in and out. Triggers such as dust mites, smoke, pollen, and pet danderor even just breathing in cold air or exercisingcan cause asthma flare-ups or full-blown attacks, where the airways close up even more, the muscles outside of them constrict, and breathing becomes extremely difficult. Kids may also cough, wheeze, or feel tightness in their chest, often requiring a rescue inhaler or, for severe cases, a trip to the hospital to get their breathing under control.

As kids approach adolescence, many see their asthma symptoms resolve or even go away completely.

Unfortunately, virus-triggered asthma doesnt always go away once the infection is treated. There may be some permanent changes to the lungs, called remodeling, after the virus, and its possible to get chronic obstruction, Gaston says.

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Signs Of Speech And Language Difficulties

  • Speaks in an atypical tone of voice, or with an odd rhythm or pitch .
  • Repeats the same words or phrases over and over, often without communicative intent.
  • Responds to a question by repeating it, rather than answering it.
  • Uses language incorrectly or refers to him or herself in the third person.
  • Has difficulty communicating needs or desires.
  • Doesnt understand simple directions, statements, or questions.
  • Takes what is said too literally .

Children with autism spectrum disorder have difficulty with speech and language. Often, they start talking late.

Some Children Lose Their Diagnosis

Does my child have autism or is this normal behaviour ...

Autism is a lifelong condition. However, a small number of studies suggest a minority of children may lose their autism diagnosis.

A 2011 analysis of American national survey data found 13% of children diagnosed with autism had lost their diagnosis.

The most common reason was new information, such as being diagnosed with another developmental, learning, emotional, or mental health condition.

Only 21% of the 187 parents reported their child had lost their diagnosis due to treatment or maturation and only 4% had a doctor or other professional confirm the child did not have ASD and did not have any other developmental, learning, emotional, or mental health condition.

A recent study in the Journal of Child Neurology examined the records of 569 children diagnosed with autism between 2003 and 2013. It found 7% no longer met the diagnostic criteria.

However, most were diagnosed with another behaviour disorder or a mental health condition .

Just three children out of 569 did not warrant any alternative diagnosis.

Read more:Five myths about autism

The few studies that report on children who no longer met the criteria for a diagnosis of either autism or another condition are typically small-scale observational studies.

In 2014, for example, US psychiatry researchers studied 34 people aged eight to 21 years who were diagnosed with autism before the age of five but no longer met the criteria for a diagnosis. This was defined as the optimal outcome.

Also Check: Can Aspergers Be Outgrown

Which Children Are Most Likely To Radically Improve

Every now and then, a child with relatively severe symptoms improves to the point where he or she is able to function effectively over time in a typical school setting. But this is rare. While inclusion may be appropriate for a period of time, most children with severe or even moderate autism find it difficult or impossible to manage increasingly complex demands in the areas of social communication, executive functioning, and abstract reasoning.

The reality is that the children who are most likely to radically improve are those whose symptoms are already relatively mild and do not include issues such as seizures, speech delay, learning disabilities, or severe anxiety. In general, therefore, the children most likely to apparently “defeat” autism are those with normal or above normal IQ’s, spoken language skills, and other existing strengths.

It’s important to note, though, that leaving behind an autism spectrum diagnosis isn’t the same thing as becoming “normal.” Even very high functioning children who appear to “outgrow” their autism diagnosis still struggle with a variety of issues. They are still likely to have sensory challenges, social communication difficulties, anxiety, and other challenges, and may well wind up with diagnoses such as ADHD, OCD, social anxiety, or the relatively new Social Communication Disorder.

What Are Some Early Signs Of Autism In Toddlers

When a baby becomes a toddler, various developmental differences, signs and symptoms may become more apparent with the growing age of the child.

During their first year, toddlers with autism spectrum disorder may not:

  • like seeing new faces,
  • may not be able to walk, or w__alk only on their toes__
  • may find certain sounds, tastes and smells upsetting,
  • may fall into repetitive movements, like flapping their hands.

These signs may be more noticeable compared to the signs presented early on. However, the majority of children with autism are not diagnosed before the age of two due to missed signs by caregivers, or lack of access to specialists.

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Can Children Grow Out Of Autism

Hope as some diagnosed children show signs of recovery in study

A new study published in the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry suggests that some children with high functioning autism may show signs of recovery.

The research, carried out by Dr Deborah Fein and her team at the University of Connecticut, studied 34 children who had been diagnosed with autism at a young age. Following comparative tests with their peers, they were found to function as well as 34 other children in the school class.

There have been suggestions that autism was not correctly diagnosed in the first instance, particularly as the condition affects people in different ways, but researchers are confident in their findings.

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

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, Insel continued.

However, Dr Judith Gould, director of the National Austistic Societys Lorna Wing Centre for Autism said, Autism is a lifelong disability affecting the way people communicate and interact with others, reports the BBC.

Things To Know About Kids With Autism

Can Kids Outgrow Autism?
  • Sensory processing issues are common in autism.Kids on the autism spectrum dont always feel things the same way as people who are not on the spectrum I mean literally and in terms of their senses. They can have problems with the sensory information is processed. This is why my daughter cannot stomach having anything on her arms, even in cold weather. Its actually is painful for her. One thing to note, though, is that sensory disorder is a SEPARATE issue from autism. While it is common, not every child has it. When they do, it can impact behavior, speech, socialization and so much more.
  • Diet matters.Many autistic children have issues with certain foods. My daughter struggles dairy, that is, products that contain casein, the protein in cow milk. Regularly eating it disrupted her sleep patterns for the first 5 years of her life. Thats right: for FIVE YEARS, she woke up every three to four hours every single night. Removing it got her sleeping through the night in less than 2 weeks. So if a doctor ever tells you that you can feed your autistic child anything, thats probably not the case. Learn why the autism diet is important.
  • Autism may be linked to autoimmune issues.Many people I know call autism an autoimmune disorder, and Im inclined to agree somewhat. The folks at Real Food Forager does a great job of explaining this, with links to current science, and this study seems to confirm it in at least some cases.
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