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Thursday, November 26, 2015

Honest Talk about Optimal Outcomes

In The Politics of Autism, I talk about outcomes.

At The Cleveland Clinic, Thomas Frazier offers some honest observations on optimal outcomes:
What about the kids who lose an autism diagnosis and don’t get a new diagnosis? Did their autism go away? Those are big questions for parents.
We do see very rare cases of what researchers call “optimal outcome.”
Usually these are high-functioning children. They are diagnosed because of mild behavioral signs and symptoms. For example, they may be developing language or social skills slowly but still have strong ability to organize their world.
Eventually, often after a few years of therapy, they no longer fit the diagnosis. The study found this in about 3 percent of cases.
I don’t want to downplay these success stories. Helping kids improve is exactly what we want to do every day.
But I do must stress that it’s not the norm. Based on you child’s case — especially if the diagnosis came from a specialist — work with your care team to set realistic goals.