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Parents Claim a Cure for Third of Autism Cases

autism_ribbonMuch ado has been made of the new study saying the numbers of autistic kids in America are much higher than the already high numbers advocates have been using for years. But hidden inside the study comes an even more shocking figure.

More than a third of the parents included in the study in Pediatrics reported their kids were no longer autistic. So were 38 percent of the kids actually cured?

Maybe. Then again, maybe not. Autism is not a cut and dried diagnosis – it’s a spectrum disorder, which means kids can range from verbal to non, have additional disabilites or not, can be high functioning or have extreme limitations.

An improvement from extreme limitations or from not speaking to carrying on conversations can be seen by parents as a “cure,” when in fact it’s a movement to a different end of the spectrum. It speaks to the success of treatment – kids may get better with intervention.

Then there are kids who truly do get better – almost as if they age out. Then there are those who were misdiagnosed to begin with. It’s another reason autism is stumping researchers, the head of Autism Speaks, one of the nation’s leading advocacy non-profits for autism research and education, told Newsweek.

Jenny McCarthy has gotten plenty of flack for making the same claims (and to be fair – much of it is deserved, as she parades around like a medical expert when she’s NOT). But this study may well be a feather in her cap.

Does this give you hope or make autism that much more confounding?

Image: Autism Speaks

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