A new study from researchers at New York's Columbia University has found not all autistic children develop the same way and some may even outgrow the condition.
Researchers observed just under 7,000 autistic children born in California between 1992 and 2001 and compared results on individual development.
The subjects were surveyed using nine tests for social skills, communication, and behavior. Researchers found six common developmental patterns that formed among the children.
One group, representing about 10 percent of the children, rose from severe autism to highly functioning over the course of the study.
These children were most often born to non-Hispanic, white mothers and came from the highest earning income families. The next step is determining what lifestyle or development factors contributed to their 'outgrowing' autism.
"Children with autism have heterogeneous developmental pathways. One group of children evidenced remarkable developmental change over time. Understanding what drives these outcomes is thus critical," the research team wrote in their report.
by RTT Staff Writer
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