Frequently Asked Questions
Typical questions regarding autism and the seminal study at UCLA
Has Autism Partnership conducted further studies?
Since the study at UCLA we have continued our research efforts but in a clinical setting. Our results show that more than 80 children whom we have treated have achieved “recovery”. Autism Partnership’s most recent study was published in Education and Treatment of Children in May, 2011.
How do you explain why some individuals with autism recover and some do not?
There are several factors that influence outcome. There are factors that can be controlled such as age at the start of intervention, intensity of intervention and quality of intervention. There are factors we cannot control that are critical as well, such as cognitive ability. Outcome is based upon the combination of these factors.
Isn’t it true that even after many years of intensive behavioral therapy some individuals with autism still show behavioral characteristics of autism?
Certainly. Not every child achieves “recovery.” However, a high percentage of children make outstanding progress and are able to enjoy a much higher quality of life.
Isn’t this creating a false hope for some parents?
It is critical that parents have realistic expectations but understand that recovery is a possibility if their child receives quality treatment at an early age. Although less than 50 percent of children under the best conditions “recover,” the vast majority of children can make outstanding progress.
Is it possible that some individuals were misdiagnosed in the first place?
In the study conducted at UCLA, the children were diagnosed by independent evaluators. Additionally, at the time of the study High Functioning Autism did not exist. Analogously, if someone suffers from depression and after treatment they no longer show the signs, would one say they were never depressed? Or if someone suffered a stroke and after intensive speech, occupational and physical therapy the symptoms disappeared, would one say they never had a stroke?
Can you predict which individuals have a greater chance of recovery?
There are signs that are favorable, but not absolute. Children that have the presence of language, social interest and disruptive behavior tend to do better than those children who do not communicate, are socially unresponsive and passive.