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Is there a cure for autism? It seems like I’ve heard of cases where kids have ‘recovered’ from autism.

August 11, 2017

There is no known cure for autism – that’s the bad news. There is good news however…  it is possible that a person with autism can reach a point (usually after ongoing and intensive intervention targeted to the challenges of the specific individual) where they no longer meet the diagnostic criteria for the disorder that is described above (e.g. Google the name ‘Temple Grandin’). This is one of the biggest misconceptions about the disability and this is why: autism is a spectrum disorder which means, in part, that some cases are less severe than others (also see above). For example, a person may meet the criteria for autism or a related spectrum disorder however, they may only have very obvious difficulties when it comes to social interactions. Then consider that this individual (who may be called ‘high-functioning’) has early, intensive, and ongoing exposure to the best, evidence based assessment and treatment that money can buy. In some instances it might also be the case that this child’s parent (or someone else that is intimately involved in the process) is an expert in autism and guides the course of treatment every step of the way. In these such ‘best case scenarios’, it is very often the case that the person can exceed all expectations and eventually no longer meet the diagnosis for autism. What makes autism all that more mysterious (and gives hope to all you incredibly dedicated parents) is that in some cases, it requires only ONE of these conditions for a child to thrive. In general, educating yourself as a parent about best practices in autism treatment can have a huge impact on your child’s progress.

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