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The Millennials:  Part I

 

An article published in the July/August issue of Scientific Mind reported that up to 25% of people with autism (from the generation of Millennials, born between 1980-2000) eventually recover completely or become nearly indistinguishable from their peers as young adults.

Studies were careful to exclude cases that did not meet true criteria for a solid initial diagnosis. These were genuinely autistic (not Aspergers) children who, having reached adulthood, demonstrated no trace of autism, or virtually no trace of autism.

There has been, and still is, a professional bias against full recovery. Because parents keep poor records of their interventions, professionals maintain, the factors that contribute to full recovery are still unclear.

In my opinion, this is because professionals have not been finding what they have not been looking for, so a survey of individual case studies was necessary to uncover the fact that, no matter how you slice it, a high percentage of autistics do recover. Maybe the numbers favoring recovery should be even higher than 25%.

Like many other parents, I was told that my son might improve, but would never be cured. According to a battery of psychometric tests and clinical observations that my son underwent recently, he doesn’t meet any of the criteria that led to his original diagnosis, and he no longer qualifies for special services.

Never expecting a cure, I educated my son at home for eight years to keep him from regressing, yet his eventual recovery was as solid as it gets. According to everything I studied, learned, and was told, this should have been impossible, unless I had pioneered a cure for high-functioning autism (Aspergers)!

Accepting, for now, the mantle of “mother who pioneered a cure for high-functioning autism,” I will begin to explain what I know about the recovery process in future posts, awaiting comments from autistics or parents of autistics whose outcomes exceeded expectations.

 

*Search under Categories for the Millennials:  Parts II, III, IV, & V

3 Responses to Is there a cure for autism?

  • Full recovery is possible and it is possible to be cured. Yes, there still is no consistent replicable cure yet which is why the science community can’t endorse it. With alternative cures, for anything really, there are a lot of snake-oil blogs mixed in with some good ones. In your case, your methods have apparently worked.

    Me, I was born with HFA, though now i meet very few to none of the diagnostic criteria and I fit in perfectly fine in social situations. The people who found out I was once autistic are surprised. Of course, there are some people on the internet who assert to me that it’s impossible for me to be cured to a point where I can see eye to eye with nuerotypicals.

    Also, some people on the spectrum may deny that it’s possible simply because they haven’t had any progress. I’ve even had some Aspies tell me that I never really had it to begin with, and when that argument wasn’t successful, they proceeded to tell me if I do have it and I did manage to cure myself, that it came at sacrifice of everything else in my life and I’m not good at anything but socializing.

    Some will find whatever means they can to justify things, but in the end, don’t let a few jealous people or people who don’t even have a clue tell you what you can and cannot do.

    Autism is difficult to cure, and I can’t promise that single every case of autism can and will be cured. But to say it’s impossible is just wrong.

  • I think it might be more fair to not necessarily say that parents keep poor records but to keep in mind that they’re juggling a lot on many levels, both physical and emotional. It’s just more so that if they were super-human, they’d maybe have the time and brainpower for keeping better track of records, habits, behaviors, improvements, etc.

    But overall I think you have some very worthwhile points here that deserve attention in a more public way. You bring such good news, and the world needs that in so many more ways than it needed even decades ago.

    • You have a good point about saddling parents, who are overextended already, with the burden of keeping exact records. And you’re right to point out that now, more than ever, we need good news.

      The interesting thing about researchers is how insular their fields of study can be. Graduate students are looking at a particular feature of autism for a decade or so, without exposure to new developments.

      Nonetheless, unanticipated findings are beginning to turn things around. For example, 110 autistics are now being followed by high-level researchers from the time of their diagnosis at two years of age into their mid twenties. This study might reveal weaknesses in current diagnostic tools—weaknesses that lead to difficulties gauging the risk factors for various subgroups of autistics.

      Oddly enough, all that hindsight can tell us now is that the twenty-something autistics, with better outcomes than expected, received no more behavioral treatment than others. This doesn’t invalidate the power of certain interventions, but could indicate that standard interventions, such as ABA, should not be used for every stripe of autism.

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