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Welcome to ourNews, where we keep up-to-date with research and other news related to infant mental health. These articles can be of interest to both parents and professionals.
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'The kids who beat autism'

Geoff Ferguson - August 3rd 2014

The New York Times recently carried an article about children who were diagnosed with autism, but who later no longer met that diagnosis. These are moving stories about parents who worked hard to understand and to reach their child, and about the older child's recollections of their earlier autism.

The children described in the article are an important reminder that we should never assume that change is not possible. Early and intensive interventions made life-changing differences to these children. Not all children will respond as much to treatment as the children described in the article. Some may not respond at all. But it is clear that a diagnosis of autism does not necessarily imply a lifetime disorder. The article quotes independent studies by Deborah Fein and Catherine Lord which show that some children do overcome autism.

There are important questions raised within the New York Times' piece. Were the children who 'recovered' correctly diagnosed in the first place? Are there residual 'autistic' traits in the children who recover? Is the autistic label given to a variety of conditions, some of which can be treated and some not? The article also gives the views of some autistic people that this is not a condition to be treated at all, but rather a form of neurodiversity that should be accepted.

What does come strikingly from the piece is the importance of seeing the child and not the diagnosis.


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Welcome to ourNews, where we keep up-to-date with research and other news related to infant mental health. These articles can be of interest to both parents and professionals.
We are keen to know your views and so please do comment on our articles.
Is there a topic that you would like us to write about? Just send us a message via 'Contact us'.

ourAdvice, our other blog, has brief posts with advice for parents.

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