Can Anxious Children Really ‘Grow out’ of Autism? Depends on Your Definition

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Anxious children diagnosed with autism early in life may lose symptoms of the disorder as they get older. But one science writer has a big problem with calling that lessening of symptoms as “growing out” of autism, as many article headlines surrounding a study published in The Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry suggest.

As Forbes contributor Emily Willingham notes, the study discusses the “optimal outcome” for those diagnosed with autism, which is to lead a functional, productive life without the earlier symptoms that may have plagued them. One of her beefs is with the thought that the autism diagnosis simply disappears, as anxious children or anyone can still have autism per se but just be better about managing the symptoms.

Another beef she has is with improper diagnoses in the first place. Perhaps anxious children diagnosed with autism early on who later show no affects of the disorder did not necessary have autism to begin with.

If all this is giving you headache, you can cut to the chase and check out the report or, if you care to read more of Willingham’s POV, you can check out her full article.

Check out the report:

Read the full Forbes article: