Study Suggests Most Autistic Kids Make Gains Over Time

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Joined: 25 Aug 2013
Age: 64
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Location: Long Island, New York

18 May 2021, 4:24 pm

Disability Scoop

The vast majority of youngsters with autism may be “doing well” in at least some aspect of their lives by the time they reach mid-childhood, researchers say.

In a study looking at how 272 kids on the spectrum fared between the ages of 2 and 10, researchers found that 80% made gains in at least one area.

The study published recently in the journal JAMA Open assessed the children’s growth and proficiency in five domains: communication, socialization, activities of daily living, internalizing and externalizing. Remarkably, 23% of the kids were doing well in four or all five of the areas researchers looked at by age 10.

Key to the findings, the study authors said, was reframing their approach to focus on whether children were growing their skills over time rather than simply looking at their deficits.

“By using different criteria to track their development apart from those used to diagnose autism — such as ASD symptoms and cognitive ability — we were able to reframe more holistically how we conceptualized progress in the autism field,” Szatmari said. “Specifying an outcome implies that there’s an end point, whereas doing well relates to an individual’s circumstances at a particular point in their life’s journey with autism — especially important since these kids are just at the start of a journey.”

One factor that did appear to influence how well a child did was their socioeconomic status. Those from higher income households with better family functioning were more likely to be doing well, the study found.

NT researchers surprised. Not me

Professionally Identified and joined WP August 26, 2013
DSM 5: Autism Spectrum Disorder, DSM IV: Aspergers Moderate Severity.

“My autism is not a superpower. It also isn’t some kind of god-forsaken, endless fountain of suffering inflicted on my family. It’s just part of who I am as a person”. - Sara Luterman

Last edited by ASPartOfMe on 18 May 2021, 5:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.


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Joined: 4 Feb 2014
Gender: Male
Posts: 77,173
Location: Queens, NYC

18 May 2021, 4:28 pm

Neither am I.

If anybody is treated well, they usually thrive, no matter their neurological status.