Why Are These Myths So Harmful
Many parents struggle with their childs diagnosis of autism, as they face the realisation their childs life may be very different from the one they imagined.
The myth that children can grow out of autism if their parents do a good enough job of educating or changing them is harmful for the whole family.
It can prevent parents from seeing and accepting their child as the wonderful human being they are and recognising their strengths.
Sadly, it can also lead to a lifetime of the autistic person perceiving themselves to be a failed neurotypical person rather than a successful autistic person.
Australia, like many countries, has made great strides in the provision of educational supports for these students in primary and secondary school. Then we stop.
Of those who complete secondary school, only 19% receive a post-school qualification. This compares with 59% of those with any form of disability and 68% of those without a disability.
In terms of work, ABS data from 2015 shows the unemployment rate for people with an autism diagnosis was 31.6% more than three times the rate for people with any disability and almost six times the rate of people without disability .
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Has An Unusual Intelligence Level
Being either far advanced or obviously delayed for their age could be a cause for concern. Some autistic children have an amazing mathematical or musical talent, known as a savant ability. Others are cognitively delayed. If you notice your child is on either end of the spectrum, and is clearly at a different intelligence level than the majority of their peers, its worth noting. That being said, some kids on the spectrum have a normal intelligence level, so the absence of unusual intelligence does not rule out autism.
Diagnosed At A Later Age
Many people with ADHD may not be diagnosed until their teenage or adult years. This is particularly true of those with predominately inattentive symptoms, which are less disruptive and less overt as compared to impulsive/hyperactive symptoms.
Girls and women, in particular, are more likely to experience the inattentive type of ADHD. This often means that they are diagnosed later in life. Research suggests that because these symptoms are less noticeable, girls develop coping strategies to help hide their symptoms.
Though the person may have successfully managed symptoms in childhood, the teenage and adult years bring on increased demands for sustained attention, planning, organization, and self-management that can make coping with ADHD more and more difficult.
People who are diagnosed as teens or adults may actually find a sense of relief in the diagnosis, which explains a wide range of lifelong challenges. It can be particularly helpful to learn that there are both medical treatments and strategies that can make a positive difference. In addition, having a diagnosis can open the door to helpful conversations with parents, friends, and partners.
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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.
Regression Can Be Real Or Apparent
Over the past few years, there have been some debates as to whether regression, in which there is a loss of acquired communication or social skills, is a real phenomenon or an apparent one. Some have wondered whether parent reports were exaggerated.
Video records, however, combined with studies, make it clear that at least some children do in fact regress into autism while others either show signs of autism in infancy or “plateau” in their development.
A relatively new set of studies looking at the younger siblings of children with autism in their earliest months are discovering that subtle regression is quite common. While parents may notice issues such as loss of language or eye contact, researchers are noticing small losses in the areas of motor skills and response to social cues.
Such regression typically occurs before age 3. According to researcher Lonnie Zwaigenbaum, “upwards of 20% to 30% recall a period when their children lost social and communication skills in the second year of life.”
At present, no one knows exactly what causes regression, but according to developmental-behavioral pediatrician Paul Wang, We understand now that regression is common. It starts early, and it can affect many different developmental skills.”
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Recovering From Autistic Burnout
There is limited research on recovery from autistic burnout. An autistic persons abilities will often come back, but some skills may take longer to return than others. Some skills may not return to the level they were at before.
A persons prognosis depends on a lot of factors. For example, a teenager who experiences burnout due to a temporary stressor may have briefer, milder symptoms than a middle-aged person who has forced themself to mask for over 30 years. People who push themselves to the point of burnout year after year are likely to have more severe skill loss than those who have a one-time episode and get immediate support.
If you are a caregiver of an autistic child, it is highly recommended that you visit a child psychologist. Early therapeutic interventions can improve a childs long-term abilities to communicate and cope with stress. A mental health professional can also help you create a home environment that matches your childs sensory needs. You may also wish to see a family therapist to discuss any concerns you may have about the future.
If you are an adult experiencing autistic burnout, you may benefit from individual therapy. A therapist can help you advocate for your needs with coworkers, friends, and family members. A therapist can also teach you meditation and other coping skills for stress. If you have clinical anxiety or depression , therapy can treat those diagnoses.
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Late Recognition Of Symptoms
Next, it’s important to distinguish between a late recognition of symptoms and late onset of symptoms. According to the DSM-5 diagnostic criteria: “Symptoms must be present in the early developmental period .”
In the case of high-functioning autism, for example, it’s not unusual for a child to receive a diagnosis much later than most children are diagnosed with autismbut that’s not because symptoms suddenly developed. Rather, the symptoms are so subtle that it’s only with time that their impact becomes obvious.
“Masked” symptoms are particularly common among girls, who are more likely to, for example, follow others’ lead or become very passive in order to avoid being identified as “different.”
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How Is Autism Spectrum Disorder Diagnosed
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.
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, we’re 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, there’s a consequence to the watching and waiting option.
Your tonsils are lymphoid tissue that’s part of Waldeyer’s 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, you’ll 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, it’s 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 won’t 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.
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Can You Grow Out Of Autism
The short answer is no. Autism is a lifelong diagnosis, and there is no known cure.
As a spectrum disorder, there are varying degrees of autism and levels of disability. Some children with milder symptoms can learn how to manage the disorder more effectively than others.
Autism impacts communication, behavior, emotion, and social skills. The earlier it is diagnosed, the more effectively a child can learn how to improve these skills through early intervention techniques.
There have been several studies documenting that between 3% and 25% of children diagnosed with autism seem to grow out of their diagnoses. These children were often diagnosed young. In follow-ups, they show no characteristics of the disorder later in life. This is called an optimal outcome, or OO.
Other studies show that children in the OO group who were diagnosed with autism before 5 years old, and tested through the standard autism diagnostic test and personality tests, no longer show social characteristics of autism. These children no longer fall into the diagnostic parameters of autism.
There are several possible reasons for this outcome. It does not mean that a child can truly outgrow an autism diagnosis.
Can People Really Grow Out Of Autism
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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How Did The Researchers Interpret The Results
The researchers say the results clearly demonstrate the existence of a group of individuals with an early history of ASD who no longer meet the criteria for this condition. Their communication and social skills are on a par with individuals of typical development, matched for IQ, sex and age.
They say a small number of this group had some weakness on a face recognition test, but not beyond what might be expected by chance.
As this is the first part of a wider study, the researchers say that further tests will examine possible deficits in more subtle aspects of social interaction or cognition, in the OO group.
These first results, they say, confirm the possibility that some individuals initially diagnosed with autism can have optimal outcomes and function within normal limits.
Symptom Management For Optimal Outcome
While an autism diagnosis is generally not considered reliable before age 2, the earlier the disorder is suspected, and the sooner interventions begin, the better the long-term outcome. Children who are diagnosed early and begin treatment as soon as possible can learn effective coping skills. This can help them to manage their symptoms to such a degree that it may seem like they no longer struggle with autism at all.
Remember that autism is a lifelong disorder. Children do not actually outgrow it. However, if the symptoms are mild enough, the disorder can sometimes have little to no impact on daily life functioning.
A recent clinical report found that about 9% of children who were diagnosed with autism early did not meet the autism diagnostic criteria in early adulthood. Children with the highest chance of losing their autism diagnosis:
- Are diagnosed young.
- Have higher cognitive skills at age 2.
- Receive early intervention services.
- Report decreased repetitive behaviors over time.
Early intervention and diagnosis are key for helping children learn how to manage symptoms, acquire important life skills, and improve developmental delays and behavioral issues. Additionally, therapy and early intervention can help autistic children develop necessary communication and social skills to improve autistic symptoms, potentially even to a point where they no longer meet the diagnostic criteria for autism.
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Concerned About Your Childs Development: What To Do
If youre concerned about your childs development, talk to your child and family health nurse or GP about a developmental assessment. Getting an assessment and diagnosis is the first step to helping your child and getting services and programs suited to your childs needs.
Its important to get help and support as soon as possible. Early therapies and supports are the best way to help autistic children develop and thrive. Thats because they can help autistic children learn the skills they need for everyday activities. Sometimes children who get early intervention need less or no support as they get older.
Can You Grow Out Of Adhd
ADHD affects 9.4 percent of kids in the U.S. and three times as many boys as girls. The gender imbalance is partly because the type of ADHD most boys have predominantly hyperactive-impulsive presentation becomes apparent at a younger age, with signs that are pretty obvious: fidgeting, interrupting, bouncing off the walls, blurting out whatevers on their brain. Girls, on the other hand, are more likely to have ADHD with predominantly inattentive presentation, marked by spaciness, forgetfulness, and disorganization. These signs typically take longer for parents and teachers to recognize.
Most boys are active, so a hyperactive boy sticks out like sore thumb, says Scott Benson, M.D., a pediatric psychiatrist in Pensacola, Florida. They are more likely to hit someone, which gets them sent to the principals office, whereas as a child who is daydreaming and not doing their work wont necessarily get in trouble. Thats why I tend to see boys in kindergarten and first grade and girls in third and fourth grade.
Although ADHD is a genetic neurological condition that never goes away, with the right interventions and ongoing management, kids can absolutely thrive. These include behavioral interventions such as talk therapy and coaching on organizational skills, as well as medications like Ritalin.
Parents should keep in mind that ADHD is a lifelong condition which they may know full well because they deal with it themselves.
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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 Asperger’sabout 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 Asperger’s:
The Kids Who Beat Autism
At first, everything about L.’s baby boy seemed normal. He met every developmental milestone and delighted in every discovery. But at around 12 months, B. seemed to regress, and by age 2, he had fully retreated into his own world. He no longer made eye contact, no longer seemed to hear, no longer seemed to understand the random words he sometimes spoke. His easygoing manner gave way to tantrums and head-banging. He had been this happy, happy little guy, L. said. All of a sudden, he was just fading away, falling apart. I cant even describe my sadness. It was unbearable. More than anything in the world, L. wanted her warm and exuberant boy back.
A few months later, B. received a diagnosis of autism. His parents were devastated. Soon after, L. attended a conference in Newport, R.I., filled with autism clinicians, researchers and a few desperate parents. At lunch, L. sat across from a woman named Jackie, who recounted the disappearance of her own boy. She said the speech therapist had waved it off, blaming ear infections and predicting that Jackies son, Matthew, would be fine. She was wrong. Within months, Matthew acknowledged no one, not even his parents. The last word he had was Mama, and by the time Jackie met L., even that was gone.
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