Some children may grow out of autism

US researchers tested 34 children with a history of ASD who no longer carried the diagnosis and were described as having an ‘optimal outcome’.

They also assessed 34 typically developing peers and 44 children with ‘high-functioning’ autism. They ranged in age from eight to 21-years-old and were matched based on age, gender and non-verbal IQ.

After cognitive testing and parent interviews, the authors found those in the optimal outcome group had a clear, documented history of ASD, yet no longer met the criteria based on the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS) and clinical judgement.

They demonstrated normal language, face recognition, communication and social interaction.

Their diagnoses, which occurred before age 5, were verified by a co-investigator blinded to the outcome.

After examining their histories, the authors said these children had milder social deficits than the high-functioning