NIH study finds small group 'outgrew' autism - FOX 35 News Orlando

NIH study finds small group 'outgrew' autism

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By Deena Centofanti
Fox 2 News

SOUTHFIELD, Mich. (WJBK) -- There is encouraging new research that may help us understand what it takes to give children diagnosed with autism the best future.

It's estimated one in 88 children is born with autism, a brain disorder that causes struggles with communication and social interaction.  The disorder can affect each child so differently, but in each case parents are looking for answers.

"We kind of call it the crystal ball question.  Families come to us and say here's my two-year-old, what's going to happen?  And, of course, we can't answer that question definitively, but this type of research is a step in the right direction," said psychologist Lori Warner with Beaumont Children's Hospital.

In the study funded by the National Institutes of Health, 34 school age children and young adults who were diagnosed with autism moved off the autism spectrum as they grew older.

"This particular finding that, yes there is a group of kids, yes we've carefully looked at them, they did have autism and they don't anymore, that's an exciting finding," Warner said.

She diagnosis and treats children with autism every day.  Now she says the question is why?  What caused some to outgrow the diagnosis?  With brain scans and further analysis those answers will eventually come, but experts guess that early diagnosis combined with early treatment played a role.

"We tend to think that most likely many of these children did receive early intensive behavioral intervention, but even within the group of children who get that intervention, they're not all going to be optimal outcome kids and that's an important point to make is that this is a relatively small group," said Warner.

Everyone's being very careful not to give parents false hope, but also to say this is a great step in the right direction when we look into what treatment is working.

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