Monday, 4 August 2014

Study in NY Times about Autism Recovery

When I first saw the title of this New York Times article, The Kids Who Beat Autism, I was skeptical.

However, as I looked through, I was impressed.  A study of 85 children with autism, followed over 20 years and 9% no longer met diagnostic criteria.  That's pretty big (although still a small sampling and needing repetition with a larger group before making sweeping generalizations).  Another group showed 34 children who no longer met criteria, 44 who did and had 34 typically developing peers as a control and comparison group.

Researchers were not able to predict which kids would progress and which ones would not.  They couldn't even predict high and low functioning with any success at the time of diagnosis.  There was a correlation between those who received intensive therapy at an earlier age and progress but it wasn't a guarantee.

I've noticed that most of the "cured" kids whom you see online followed the normal development and regression path, rather than the symptoms from birth path.  Those are the kids who seem to do well on the gluten and casein free diets when combined with ABA therapy.

My boys both showed symptoms from an early age.  We can see the subtle signs in their first birthday videos.  The signs weren't prominent enough for us to realize until later.  So I don't hold out a lot of hope for them to be "cured".  But that doesn't mean they can't live independent and happy lives where they can be productive members of society.  And frankly, if I had to pick, I'd pick that over a cure any day of the week.

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