Autism seems to be a more and more common diagnosis- about 1 in 88 children is now affected!
Whether it's the problem that's increasing or just our awareness of it is unclear, but we do have some hope on the horizon. It may not always be a lifelong disorder!
"These children have a clear case of autism when they are young, but now do not meet the criteria for any autistic disorder.
Their social functioning is very good, they're all functioning in mainstream education with no support."
The study examined the older children and adults who no longer seemed on the spectrum, along with their records, using very strict criteria to find whether their autism had changed, gone away, or was never there to begin with.
As near as they can tell, in some cases, with behavioral care, the disorder actually does seem to get completely better!
Unfortunately, this does not happen for most. Fein says:
"This is not a common outcome. We don't know what the percent is — it's almost certainly under 25 percent, and it may be significantly lower than that."
Still, that fact that it's possible should give a lot of hope to a lot of parents out there!