At a Defeat Autism Now! conference in the early 2000’s, a panel of experts at the end of the conference were asked, “do you think there is any correlation between autism and ADD and ADHD?” I recall being impressed with the answer. Every single expert on the panel (and they represented thousands of autism children in their care) said absolutely, because they had seen over and over again children with autism lose their diagnosis and either become normal or end up with ADD or ADHD symptoms. I’ve also seen most autism children improve, but often struggle with anxiety or obsessive compulsive disorder.
The study (which you can read here… ), “Some children lose autism diagnosis but still struggle: Study shows social, cognitive symptoms resolved in 7% of youths with autism spectrum disorder, but they still needed educational services”, follows a group of 569 children with initial diagnoses of autism, they had 38 who were available for follow-up. Initially there were 29% with autism and 67% as Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). The average age at diagnosis was 2.6 years and the average age at follow-up was 6.4 years.
At follow-up, here is what they found:
- 68% had language/learning disability
- 49% had ADHD, ODD or disruptive behavior
- 5% had psychosis
- 8% had no diagnosis and required no medical support.
- 26% were mainstream without need of support
- 13% were mainstream with support
- 29% were in integrated settings
- 21% were in self-contained classes
Take home message for parents might be that most children improve, and many improve a lot. Underneath it all are our precious children who have vast unique talents and abilities, often unknown or needing to be released.
I owe most of my deepest understanding of medicine and how to get to root causes of medical conditions, to the brave children and their parents who have battled with this misunderstood condition.
Thank-you to each and every one of you who has been patient with me and guided me in understanding autism and health, and wellness in general.