'Growing out of autism' claim unfounded

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Can some children simply “grow out” of autism? The Daily Mail certainly thinks so, and today reported that new research by a “prestigious American university” claims that “not only is this possible, it’s also common.”

The Mail’s claim is misleading and may offer a false impression to the parents of children with autism. It centres on a piece of research which looked at a completely different aspect of autism. The study assessed how the presence of other developmental conditions related to the diagnosis of autism. To do this, researchers looked at parent survey data relating to children with a current diagnosis of autism and children who had previously been diagnosed but no longer met criteria for diagnosis. It generally found that children with a current diagnosis of autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) were more likely to also have certain other conditions than those who no longer met the diagnostic criteria.


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