Please fill in your e-mail address to be included in our newsletter.
You may opt out at any time.

close this box

cheap viagra at lowest price

Can Children Recover from Autism?

by The Kid's Doctor Staff

New research out suggests that at least 10 percent of children with autism can “recover” from it, most of them undergoing years of intensive behavioral therapy.

Skeptics question the study, but University of Connecticut psychology professor Deborah Fein is among those convinced it’s real. She recently presented research at an autism conference that included 20 children who, according to rigorous analysis, got a correct diagnosis but years later were no longer considered autistic.

The study was funded by the National Institute of Mental Health and involved children ages nine to 18. The children in the study, which is still ongoing, were diagnosed by an autism specialist before age five but no longer met diagnostic criteria for autism. The initial diagnoses were verified through early medical records.

Because the phenomenon is so rare, Fein is still seeking children to help bolster evidence on what traits formerly autistic kids may have in common. Her team is also comparing these children with autistic and non-autistic kids.

So far, the “recovered” kids “are turning out very normal” on neuropsychological exams and verbal and nonverbal tests, she said.

The researchers are also doing imaging tests to see if the recovered kids’ brains look more like those of autistic or nonautistic children. Autistic children’s brains tend to be slightly larger than normal.

Imaging scans also are being done to examine brain function in formerly autistic kids. Researchers want to know if their “normal” behavior is a result of “normal” brain activity, or if their brains process information in a non-typical way to compensate for any deficits.

Results from those tests are still being analyzed.

Most of the formerly autistic kids got long-term behavior treatment soon after diagnosis, in some cases for 30 or 40 hours weekly.

Many also have above-average IQs and had been diagnosed with relatively mild cases of autism. At age 2, many were within the normal range for motor development, able to walk, climb and hold a pencil.

Significant improvement suggesting recovery was evident by around age 7 in most cases, Fein said.

None of the children has shown any sign of relapse. But nearly three-fourths of the formerly autistic kids have had other disorders, including attention-deficit problems, tics and phobias; eight still are affected.

Autism researcher Geraldine Dawson, chief science officer of the advocacy group Autism Speaks called the research a breakthrough.

“Even though a number of us out in the clinical field have seen kids who appear to recover,” it has never been documented as thoroughly, Dawson said.

Related Posts on www.kidsdr.com

Share this post:
  • Facebook
  • MySpace
  • Google
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • LinkedIn
Email This Post
Print This Post

What Do You Think? Leave Us Your Comment.