Can You Grow Out Of Autism?
There is a common misconception that autism is a condition that one can ‘grow out of’ or recover from. However, this is not the case. Autism is a lifelong neurodevelopmental disorder that affects how individuals process information and interact with others. While early intervention and therapy can help individuals improve their skills, there is no cure for autism, and it is not something one can simply grow out of.
What is Autism?
Autism, also known as Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), is a developmental disability that affects communication, social interaction, and behavior. The symptoms of autism can vary widely in severity and type, but common traits include difficulty in verbal and nonverbal communication, difficulty in interacting with others, repetitive behaviors, and highly focused interests.
ASD is characterized by two core symptoms – impaired social communication and interaction, and restricted and repetitive behavior patterns. Some individuals with ASD also have sensory processing issues, in which they may over or underreact to sensory stimuli such as sound, touch, or light.
Autism is a spectrum disorder, meaning that individuals with autism can present with a wide range of symptoms and abilities. Some individuals with autism may have profound communication and cognitive impairments, while others may have normal or high intelligence, but struggle with communication and social interaction.
Can You Grow Out Of Autism?
The short answer is no, you cannot grow out of autism. Autism is a lifelong condition that affects individuals from childhood through adulthood. While some individuals with autism may exhibit improved social and communication skills over time, there is no cure for autism, and it is not something that individuals can simply outgrow.
Research has shown that early intervention and therapy can be highly effective in helping individuals with autism develop essential skills, such as communication and social interaction. Intensive behavioral and educational interventions that start during the preschool years can help to improve these skills in the long term.
While some children with autism may initially show significant improvement that may lead some to believe that they have outgrown the disorder, the reality is that many of these individuals will still struggle with social and communication difficulties throughout their lives. In some cases, the apparent improvement may be due to other factors such as sensory processing differences or an individual learning to cope with their symptoms rather than outgrowing them.
What Types of Therapy Are Available for Individuals with Autism?
Therapy for individuals with autism varies depending on their specific needs and the severity of their symptoms. Some of the most common therapies used to treat autism include:
Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)
ABA is a therapy that aims to improve socially significant behaviors by using the principles of behaviorism to modify behavior. ABA therapy can be highly effective for individuals with autism, particularly those with communication or behavior issues.
Speech therapy can help individuals with autism improve their language skills and communication abilities, from learning to speak to understanding social cues and body language.
Occupational therapy can help individuals with autism develop essential skills for daily living, such as dressing, eating, and self-care. Occupational therapists also work with individuals with autism to improve their fine motor skills and sensory processing abilities.
Physical therapy can help individuals with autism improve their gross motor skills and coordination, as well as their overall physical health.
Autism is a lifelong condition that affects social communication, interaction, and behavior. While some individuals with autism may show improved skills over time, there is no cure for autism, and it is not something that individuals can simply grow out of. Early intervention and therapy can be highly effective in helping individuals with autism develop essential skills and improve their overall quality of life.
There are several types of therapies available to help individuals with autism, including ABA, speech therapy, occupational therapy, and physical therapy. These therapies can be an essential tool in addressing the symptoms of autism and improving the lives of individuals with autism and their families.
FAQ 1: Can you actually grow out of autism?
While some individuals with autism may develop stronger coping mechanisms and improve in certain areas, autism is a lifelong neurodevelopmental disorder that cannot be completely outgrown. However, some people with autism may learn to manage their symptoms better with therapy and support, enabling them to function better in society.
FAQ 2: How can therapy help people with autism?
Therapy can provide people with autism a range of tools and strategies to improve their communication, social and behavioural skills, and overall quality of life. Occupational therapy, speech and language therapy, and behavioural therapy can all help individuals with autism function better in their daily lives and make long-term improvements.
FAQ 3: Are there any alternative treatments for adults with autism?
While there is no ‘cure’ for autism and no single treatment works for everyone, some complementary and alternative treatments may help alleviate certain symptoms, such as music therapy, massage therapy, and natural supplements. However, it is important to approach alternative treatments with caution and do thorough research on their efficacy and safety, as some may have negative side effects and be harmful to individuals with autism.
1. Bishop, D. V. (2010). Overlaps between autism and language impairment: Phenomimicry or shared etiology?. Behavior genetics, 40(5), 618-629. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.1007/s10519-010-9353-6
2. Dawson, G., Campbell, K., & Meilleur, A. (2013). How early can autism be diagnosed?. Current opinion in neurology, 26(2), 97-102. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.1097/WCO.0b013e32835ee548
3. Lai, M. C., Lombardo, M. V., & Baron-Cohen, S. (2014). Autism. The Lancet, 383(9920), 896-910. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(13)61539-1