The headlines read “New study suggests autism can be outgrown”, or “outgrowing autism: a doctor’s surprise and wonder.” The stories are based on studies reporting that 7-9% of children with a documented early autistic syndrome disorder (ASD) have no symptoms of the disorder on follow-up later in childhood or adolescence. That is good news. The question is how to account for it.
Is it possible to simply “outgrow” autism? Was the initial diagnosis wrong? Did some interventions work? Or might there be other explanations for this welcome news?