Many children are diagnosed with autism at a young age. However, many of them grow out of it as they get older. The question is: does this mean that the disorder has vanished? And what about those who never “grow out” — will their lives be forever changed by being stuck in this single focus for life?
“Growing Out of Autism” is a term that has been used over the past few years. It’s been said that “growing out of autism” means that children are no longer on the spectrum, and they will never be autistic again. However, this isn’t true. There are many people who have recovered from autism and still live with it today. Read more in detail here: autism recovery signs.
Although autism is a lifelong developmental illness with no treatment, research have revealed that some children “grow out” of their autism diagnosis. What gives that this is possible?
Autism is a spectrum condition, which means it has a wide range of severity. When children with modest symptoms are recognized early, they may occasionally learn to regulate their symptoms so well that they don’t appear to have the illness at all.
Autism symptoms are likely not fully gone in these youngsters. Rather, the youngster has learnt to adjust for or disguise the disorder’s symptoms.
In certain circumstances, when autism seems to have vanished, other illnesses may develop in its place. However, this does not imply that the youngster progressed from autism to another illness. The primary disease was often misdiagnosed in the first place.
Is It Possible to Grow Out of Autism?
No, is the quick response. Autism is a lifelong condition for which there is no treatment.
Autism comes in various degrees and levels of impairment as a spectrum condition. Children with lesser symptoms may be able to learn to control the disease more successfully than those with more severe symptoms.
Communication, behavior, emotion, and social abilities are all impacted by autism. The sooner a kid is detected, the more efficiently he or she may learn how to enhance these abilities via early intervention methods.
Several studies have shown that between 3% and 25% of children diagnosed with autism tend to outgrow their condition. These youngsters were often diagnosed at an early age. They exhibit no signs of the illness later in life, according to follow-ups. This is referred to as an optimum outcome (OO).
Other research have shown that children in the OO group who were diagnosed with autism before the age of five and examined using the conventional autism diagnostic test and personality assessments no longer exhibit social features associated with autism. These kids no longer meet the diagnostic criteria for autism.
This result might be due to a number of factors. It’s important to note that a child’s autism diagnosis does not necessarily imply that he or she will outgrow it.
Study Limitations & Possible Conclusions
These studies include constraints that impact how we interpret the data.
Misdiagnosis: A change in an autism diagnosis might be the result of a kid being misdiagnosed in the first place. Many of the research relied on a child’s previous medical records to confirm the diagnosis of autism. Separate testing and evaluation are not used to confirm the child’s diagnosis. Autism may be diagnosed in children as early as 18 months old, although many of the developmental deficits that suggest autism can be corrected by the time they reach the age of two. As a result, an autism diagnosis is often not deemed stable until the child reaches the age of two. It is possible that children who are diagnosed too early may be misdiagnosed.
Better intrinsic cognitive skills: Children in autism research who achieve the best results frequently start with higher cognitive abilities and IQs than what is considered normal. These kids may be better able to learn how to manage autism and read social signs later in life, masking their autistic symptoms. Many youngsters suffer from minor symptoms that go undiagnosed until they begin school. When social constraints become too much to bear, some minor symptoms may appear. These kids didn’t acquire autism overnight. They’ve just been concealing their symptoms. They acquired coping mechanisms on their own (often as a result of their greater cognitive ability) that had served them well up until now.
Additional problems: Children who seem to lose their autism diagnosis and fall into the OO group often have learning and language impairments, as well as behavioral and emotional disorders. Children with autism who were diagnosed at a young age may appear to be socially and intellectually normal, but they frequently struggle with attention (leading to a diagnosis of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder), abnormal thinking patterns, poor executive functions, depression, sleep issues, gastrointestinal problems, seizures, and anxiety. Emotional regulation concerns continue to be a problem. While these children seem to have “recovered” from autism, they will need ongoing therapy assistance and supervision due to the presence of behavioral, emotional, and linguistic difficulties. Again, it’s possible that these youngsters were misdiagnosed with autism rather than other developmental, behavioral, or mental health conditions.
Symptom Management for the Best Results
While an autism diagnosis before the age of two is typically not regarded trustworthy, the earlier the illness is detected and therapies started, the better the long-term result. Early diagnosis and therapy may help children acquire appropriate coping techniques. This may help them regulate their symptoms to the point that it seems that they are no longer affected by autism.
Keep in mind that autism is a lifelong condition. It is not something that children outgrow. However, if the symptoms are modest enough, the disease may have little or no effect on everyday living.
According to a recent clinical research, around 9% of children diagnosed with autism as children did not match the autism diagnostic criteria as adults. Children who are most likely to “lose” their autism diagnosis include:
Are diagnosed at an early age.
At the age of two, you have better cognitive and verbal abilities.
Take advantage of early intervention programs.
Over time, report a reduction in recurrent behaviors.
Early intervention and diagnosis are crucial for children to learn how to control their symptoms, develop vital life skills, and overcome developmental delays and behavioral difficulties. Furthermore, treatment and early intervention may assist autistic children in developing crucial communication and social skills, perhaps allowing them to no longer satisfy the diagnostic criteria for autism.
Even for people who seem to have outgrown the most of their autistic symptoms, continual education, counseling, and monitoring are essential. Most of these youngsters, and later adults, will need assistance with certain challenges.
The importance of early therapy cannot be overstated. Children who get early assistance, treatment, and interventions have the best chance of having the best quality of life later in life.
“Can autism go away with age?” This is a question that many parents and individuals who have been diagnosed with autism are wondering. The answer to this question is yes and no. There are some people who believe that autism can go away completely, but there are others who believe it will never go away. Reference: can autism go away with age.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can an autistic child grow up to be normal?
A: It is possible for an autistic individual to grow up and live a normal life, but it takes years of therapy in order to do so.
Does mild autism go away with age?
A: This is a difficult question to answer as there are many different levels of autism, and not all cases have the same symptoms. As with any condition, it varies from person to person.
Is autism reversible?
A: The answer to this question is no.
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Janice is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst. She graduated from the University of British Columbia with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Special Education. She also holds a Master of Science in Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) from Queen’s University, Belfast. She has worked with and case managed children and youth with autism and other intellectual and/or developmental disabilities in home and residential setting since 2013.