Autism affects a lot of children in America. CDC has statistics that indicate anywhere from 1 in 110 chidlren have some form of ASD. Any hope in fighting back against this is a cause for celebration. The average prevalence of ASDs identified among children aged 8 years increased 57% in 10 sites from the 2002 to the 2006 ADDM surveillance year. Although improved ascertainment accounts for some of the prevalence increases documented in the ADDM sites, a true increase in the risk for children to develop ASD symptoms cannot be ruled out. On average, although delays in identification persisted, ASDs were being diagnosed by community professionals at earlier ages in 2006 than in 2002.
This means there is more awareness among parents, teachers, and health care professionals about ASD which is resulting in more and earlier diagnosis. But treatment options have been limited.
Thsi article shows some hope.
It talks about a landmark study proves that children are capable of recovery from autism, or of making substantial gains in cognitive and adaptive functioning, as well as language skills, according to results released last night by Dr. Doreen Granpeesheh, founder of the Center for Autism and Related Disorders, Inc. (CARD).
The three-year study, which the State of Arizona funded and CARD, the world’s largest provider of early intensive behavioral intervention for children with autism, conducted, evaluated the effects of behavioral intervention for 14 young children with autism using a version of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) that blends structured teaching with play-based behavioral intervention. Today, 43 percent of the study’s participants no longer display clinical symptoms of autism and most of the participants demonstrate significant improvements in functioning.
"Years ago, some doctors would tell parents that they should institutionalize their children after an autism diagnosis," said Dr. Granpeesheh. "Today, we know that autism is treatable and recovery is possible with the right services. Every child deserves a chance to learn and grow, and we hope that these results provide hope to families of newly diagnosed children."
Among the study’s major findings is that children who developed language skills early in therapy made greater gains over time. The children who did not recover from autism still made substantial gains in their abilities to communicate and live independently. Even the children whose progress was slowest experienced significant decreases in challenging behaviors and increases in independent communication and leisure skills, thereby resulting in improved self-reliance and quality of life.
"My daughter is now recovered from autism," said Elizabeth Howell, parent of a study participant. "When people meet her and interact with her, they cannot believe that she ever had an autism diagnosis."