April 3rd, 2012
A new study suggests that social and communication skills in some kids with autism may improve over time with therapy, but other kids will continue having problems functioning as they get older.
Not surprisingly, kids who had milder symptoms when they were first diagnosed tended to be doing better a few years later than those who started out with more severe autism.
But among close to 7,000 children followed by researchers, there was also a group of so-called “bloomers” who started out with lots of communication and social problems but made fast gains during their elementary-school years.
“There’s a wide variety of children with different kinds of symptoms that fall within this (autism) umbrella,” said Christine Fountain, the lead author of the study and an autism researcher at Columbia University in New York. “We were interested in how these symptoms play out over time.”
The new findings, published Monday in Pediatrics, come just a few days after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released new data suggesting that one in 88 kids in the United States now has an autism spectrum disorder, which includes less-debilitating conditions such as Asperger’s syndrome (see Reuters story of March 29, 2012).
Find out more at Reuters.