New York Times Reports that Autism May Not Be a Lifelong Diagnosis

Brain & Behavior Research Foundation NARSAD Grantee Inge-Marie Eigsti, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Department of Psychology, University of Connecticut
Inge-Marie Eigsti, Ph.D.

A recent study published online on Jan. 16 and scheduled for print publication in the Feb. 2013 issue of Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry shows that some children may “grow out of” autism or go on to function normally. Brain & Behavior Research Foundation NARSAD Grantee Inge-Marie Eigsti, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Department of Psychology, University of Connecticut contributed to the study.

The observational study focused on a small sample of 34 children and young adults ages 8 to 21 who had been diagnosed with autism at an early age. Evaluations of the group and comparisons to groups with high-functioning autism and typical development revealed social, communications and language skills in line with the non-autistic peers. The findings indicate that there is a wide range of possible outcomes for children who are correctly diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders.

The findings are receiving international attention in media ranging from the New York Times to the BBC. This research is especially significant because, according to the Center for Disease Control, one in every 88 eight year olds is diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder. Future research is needed to replicate the findings and to identify the most effective therapeutic treatments, early interventions and coping skill strategies so that outcomes can be optimized for people diagnosed with autism.

Read the New York Times story “Some with Autism Diagnosis Can Overcome Symptoms, Study Finds.

Read the BBC Story “Children ‘may grow out of autism.’