Autism is NOT for life! New research provides evidence that ASD symptoms are reversible.
New study by Deborah Fein and collagues from University of Connecticut shows that some children can COMPLETELY RECOVER from autism thanks to intensive treatments and therapies. While we await further publications from the team that will illuminate these cases in more detail (and hopefully include full information on therapies and treatments those children received), this first publication resulting from research looking at 34 children who have 'shed away' their autism symptoms provides "initial scientific basis for talking openly of recovery as one possible outcome. We may not yet know how to get there, but now, we do know it is possible. The ultimate goal uniting both parents and professionals is to give each young child diagnosed with ASD the chance of this outcome, to know that no stone has gone unturned in the quest. We have exciting science ahead of us as we figure out the necessary ingredients of such outcomes." (from editorial article in Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, full version available here).
The original paper itself can be viewed here (subscription needed to read full paper): Optimal outcome in individuals with a history of autism. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry. Volume 54, Issue 2, pages 195-205, February 2013.
This study confirms results of earlier ones, such as this one, which concluded that "a significant proportion of children showing considerable progress over the 3-year period challenges assumptions of diagnostic continuity and highlights the potential long-term benefits of early intervention."