Higher Innate Cognitive Abilities
Kids with autism sometimes exhibit intelligence thatâs higher than their peers. This can be found on IQ tests, where the child may score higher than other kids of their age.
When this is the case, such children are in a position to manage their symptoms better than other kids on the spectrum.
Theyâre capable of understanding cues better. It may be easier for them to hide the presence of symptoms related to autism as well, particularly when theyâre older.
Many kids with higher cognitive abilities may exhibit few problems when in the comfort of home, but they may become noticeable when theyâre among their peers.
Social pressure and being a bit too much for anyone with autism, which is where symptoms are sometimes best observed.
Symptoms donât develop in such kids unannounced.
They can be dormant or present according to the setting of the child and how comfortable they are with the people around them.
Planning Starts At 14
Senator says parents often begin panicking when their kids hit 14 and transition planning starts coming up. IDEA requires every state to begin this process for all students with an Individualized Education Program by age 16, and some states require that school districts start the process as early as 14. During the annual IEP meeting, the focus shifts to more specific planning and goal-setting for the transition into young adulthood. Goals might include things like post-secondary education, vocational training, and independent living. Autism Speaks also provides a Transition Tool Kit, which offers guidance on everything from housing to Internet safety.
When it came to Nat, Senator created a shared living arrangement. Its like a group home, except that theres a live-in caregiver, which Nat qualifies for due to his level of disability, as opposed to rotating staff. The idea is that its just like home, Senator says. Hes got to do the groceries, clean and do the laundry, assisted by another part-time caregiver. Nat shares a house not far from his family with another young man with similar issues that mans family owns the house and Nat rents from them.
Do You Really Grow Out Of Your Tonsils The Possible Link Between Sleep Apnea And Autism
In the 1950s to 1970s, it used to be a rite of passage for young children to get their tonsils taken out. These days, were a lot more conservative with tonsillectomy, and frequently, parents are told that their child will grow out of their tonsils. While this is true in some cases, theres a consequence to the watching and waiting option.
Your tonsils are lymphoid tissue thats part of Waldeyers ring, which is a ring of lymphoid tissue made of the palatine tonsils , the adenoids , and the lingual tonsils . In some children with overdeveloped lymphoid tissues, youll see a communication between all four of these glands, forming a complete circle. These tissues are normally involved in educating your immune system, since everything you breathe or swallow has to go through this ring. As a result, its expected that the tonsils will be enlarged during the ages of 3-5.
In children with huge tonsils, one of the reasons why they look so big is that the space that the tonsils sit in is too narrow. Taking out the tonsils can make a dramatic difference is most children, but there are some children that wont respond to tonsillectomy or only partially. One recent meta-analysis showed that adenotonsillectomy was helpful in about 2/3 of all children. But the remaining 1/3 still had residual symptoms or signs of obstructive sleep apnea. These are the children that have smaller jaws than the children who responded to the procedure.
Don’t Miss: Ssi For Autism Over 18
Families Struggle To Find Or Invent Good Supported Living Options
When Susan Senators son Max was racing toward the high school finish line, he joined the rest of his classmates for the usual rites of passage. He took the ACT and applied to good schools, landing at New York Universitys prestigious Tisch School of the Arts.
But things couldnt have been more different for Maxs brother, Nat. Senator, a blogger, memoir writer and novelist, had to take into account the fact that her profoundly autistic older son, while very competent when it comes to self-help skills like showering and dressing, is also limited verbally, cannot handle money and still doesnt look both ways when crossing the street.
In other words, she knew he needed a 24-hour caregiver to be safe. But because the infrastructure and services arent in place to create the type of living arrangement she wanted for Nat after he came of age, she joined the growing ranks of parents who are struggling to make short- and long-term provisions, often taking matters into their own hands.
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.
Recommended Reading: Can Adults Be Diagnosed With Autism
Aging Out Of Services
This forced transition, called aging out, pushes them into the woefully lacking system for disabled adults. And its not just those with more severely disabled children who are worried. Parents whose children are termed high-functioning, including those with an Aspergers diagnosis, have reason to be concerned that their kidswho may be dealing with things like ADHD, anxiety and sensory issues in addition to their social and communication delaysare not going to magically stop needing support after they reach a certain chronological age.
Liane Kupferberg Carters autistic son Mickey turns 20 in July and, Carter, who has written much about the challenges of raising a child on the spectrum, admits to floundering.I dont know how to do this, she says. When our son Jonathan was preparing to leave home for college, we had a whole shelf of books to guide our family. But theres no such book guiding Carter as she faces the next step with her verbal but cognitively challenged son, diagnosed with PDD-NOS. Were making it up as we go, she says. Carter is certain of only one thing for Mickey, who likes to camp it up in a pair of Groucho Marx glasses: Due to his cognitive challenges and autism-related epilepsy, which is only partially controlled by medication, he will always need a supervised living situation.
Language/image Processing In Various Brains
The yellow shading shows roughly the areas where the vast majority of the public will process language, especially sentences that involve visual imagery. The yellow shading also shows areas of the brain often associated with self-reflection, imagination, and logic. The blue shading depicts results from Eigsti et als paper teens with a history of autism show increased involvement of language areas. The teal shading in the OO brain shows the heightened activity of regions of the brain involved in motivation, logic, and control. The OO brain activity is unique, showing greater activity than both the TD and ASD brain patterns.
Don’t Miss: What Is Meant By Autism Spectrum Disorder
Children ‘may Grow Out Of Autism’
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 condition.
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.
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 condition.
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.
Early Autism May Not Last A Lifetime
One recent study revealed that kids diagnosed with autism early on in their life could lose some symptoms as they become teenagers and adults.
More studies are done to help researchers build on the data obtained before any conclusions can be finalized.
Further study will help them to understand how this changes, and the route that was taken for the children to gain better behavior over time.
Autism consists of multiple cognitive disorders, with varying levels of severity.
People with the disorder usually have difficulty conducting themselves in a social setting.
This can include talking, staying on topic during the conversation, looking people in the eyes, and expressing themselves without getting agitated.
Optimal outcome describes the lessening of symptoms to where theyâre not easily detected in children.
Though acknowledged, it has been subject to debate over whether symptoms went away, were hidden, or if their autism diagnosis was correct.
In another study involving kids who were accurately diagnosed, symptoms were still present, though in very mild forms.
You May Like: Is Delayed Speech A Sign Of Autism
Autism Characteristics Can Change Significantly From Ages 3 To 11
A recent study by UC Davis MIND Institute researchers found that the severity of a childs autism symptoms can change significantly between the ages of 3 and 11. The study was published in Autism Research, and built on previous work by the same researchers on changes to autism characteristics in early childhood. The children studied were all part of the MIND Institutes long-term Autism Phenome Project .
David G. Amaral, UC Davis distinguished professor, Beneto Foundation Endowed Chair and senior author on the papers, and Einat Waizbard-Bartov, graduate researcher and first author on the papers, answer questions about what theyve learned so far. In the following Q& A, they provide details and context to help make sense of their findings.
Note: The authors recognize that medical terms such as symptom and severity are pathologizing and are making efforts to move away from this historical terminology. In this paper, the analysis is based on the calibrated severity score generated from the use of the diagnostic test the ADOS-2, which is why theyre using them in this instance.
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.
Don’t Miss: When You Run Over The Autistic Kid
What Type Of Therapy Is Best For Adults With Autism
Cognitive behavioral therapy is a type of therapy that can be useful in the treatment of children and adults. During sessions of the Cognitive Behavioral Therapy program, people learn about the connections between their feelings, thoughts, and behaviors. Understanding these thoughts and feelings may aid in the identification of negative behaviors that can arise from them.
After receiving an adult autism evaluation, you may decide to consult with a therapist who can help you better understand your feelings and cope with the new diagnosis. Because there is no cure for autism, therapy is not intended to help the patient. The use of cognitive behavioral therapy can help children and adults in a variety of ways. ABA therapy is the most effective intervention for autism in terms of efficacy. Play and self-care are emphasized in this program, which is highly structured and scientific. The focus of cognitive behavioral therapy is to help patients develop wholesome and lasting characteristics. Many therapists carry out both disciplines as they work.
What Did The Research Involve
The researchers recruited:
- 34 individuals with a history of ASD and OO, which is defined as no longer having a diagnosis of autism and losing all symptoms
- 44 high functioning individuals with a current ASD diagnosis
- 34 people who had typical development
Their ages ranged from 8 to nearly 22 years. The groups were matched on age, gender and non-verbal IQ.
All potential participants were carefully screened by telephone interviews with parents, to ensure they met the criteria for inclusion. After screening by telephone, participants were evaluated by specialist clinicians over the course of two or three testing sessions carried out at university or at home. Further parent interviews were also conducted.
The OO individuals that were included:
- had a documented diagnosis of ASD that had been carefully reviewed by an expert
- had a current evaluation by a clinician that ASD was not present
- had high scores on one of the scales used to measure and evaluate symptoms and signs of autism in the areas of communication and socialisation, as reported by parents
- were in normal education, with no special assistance to address autism deficits
The high functioning autism individuals needed:
- to meet diagnostic guidelines for high functioning autism
The typical development individuals:
- did not meet criteria for ASD at any point in their development, according to parental reports
- did not have a first degree relative with an ASD diagnosis
- did not meet current diagnostic guidelines for ASD
Don’t Miss: Can You Donate Eggs If You Have Autism
Create A Calmer Environment
Bright lights, loud noises and strong smells can be overwhelming. Dimmer switches, quiet shopping times and other environmental changes can make us feel more welcome in the world. When these changes cant be made, accepting the use of sensory aids, such as headphones, sunglasses and sensory-friendly clothing, can make it easier for us.
Which Children Are Most Likely To Improve
Every so often, an autistic child with less than favorable symptoms can improve to a level where their ability to function after a while appears to be permanent.
It does occur, though is quite rare.
It might exist for a while, but the average autistic child with severity in their symptoms will find it very hard to manage when attempting to do complicated tasks that become more complex.
This can be issued with them talking with other people, socializing, or attempting to reason with others using abstract terminology.
The truth is that kids that arenât able to improve are those with mild symptoms.
These children wonât exhibit disabilities with the way they learn or other extreme forms like seizures, speech impediments, anxiety, or other learning ailments.
Kids with mild autism tend to have higher scores on cognitive tests and can speak well, even in situations where they feel some social pressure.
With all the information described above, the takeaway shouldnât be that people misdiagnosed with autism are completely normal, as in nothingâs the matter with their learning or cognitive abilities.
Even high-functioning kids and adults with autism can have problems with simple tasks.
Recommended Reading: Education For Autistic Students
Can Children On The Autism Spectrum Outgrow Their Disabilities
The good news:most kids affected by Autism dont have intellectual disabilities==> How To Prevent Meltdowns and Tantrums In Children With High-Functioning Autism and Aspergersabout 10% of those who started out in the low-functioning group also moved into the highest group by age 14==> Parenting System that Significantly Reduces Defiant Behavior in Teens with Aspergers and High-Functioning AutismMore resources for parents of children and teens with High-Functioning Autism and Aspergers:
The Children Who Leave Autism Behind
Autism is usually thought to be a lifelong condition, but a small number of children lose the core symptoms and shed the diagnosis. Some researchers are beginning to explore how common this may be, and why some children outgrow autism.
by Siri Carpenter / 7 September 2015
Alex, aged 10, bounds onto his bed to pose with his Aaron Rodgers poster, grinning as proudly as if he had recruited the Green Bay Packers quarterback himself. Continuing the tour of his suburban New York bedroom, he points out his Packers-themed alarm clock, his soccer trophy, his Boy Scout trophy and then the big reveal: a homemade foam box in Packers green and gold.
Mmm, very nice, I say. Alex grins part shy, part sly as he turns it around to show me the message on the back: Jets stink.
Even though he seems to be an entirely ordinary boy, theres something unusual about Alex: He once had autism, and now he does not. There was a time when Alexs parents didnt know if he would ever speak in full sentences, let alone joke around with a stranger. His autism, they suspected, might prevent any such future.
Alexs parents began to worry about him before he was even 1 year old. He wasnt learning to sit, crawl or stand as his fraternal twin brother was. Even more striking was how much less social he was compared with his brother.
Read Also: Is There A Physical Test For Autism