Why Autism Diagnosis Can Change as Children Grow Up

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Why Autism Diagnosis Can Change as Children Grow Up

Children withِ autism tend toِ alsoِ have otherِ disorders, suchِ asِ a learning disability orِ depression, whichِ affect themِ inِ differentِ ways asِ they age, a newِ study finds.
The study wasِ based onِ 1,366 children whoِ hadِ taken part inِ a national health survey whoِ eitherِ were currentlyِ diagnosed withِ autism, orِ hadِ beenِ in theِ pastِ butِ no longer hadِ the diagnosis.
Parents shouldِ haveِ their child checked forِ other conditions toِ makeِ sure anِ autism diagnosis isِ properly determined, saidِ study researcher Li-Ching Lee, a psychiatric epidemiologist atِ the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School ofِ Public Health.

The study is published today (Jan. 23) in the journal Pediatrics.

Making a proper diagnosis can often be difficult

Autistic spectrum disorders — including autism, Asperger’s syndrome andِ other developmental disorders — affect a child’s ability toِ communicate andِ interact withِ people.
About 1 inِ 110 children inِ the U.S.
isِ currentlyِ diagnosed withِ anِ autism spectrum disorder, according toِ theِ Centers forِ Disease Control andِ Prevention.

More than one diagnosis is likely

The newِ study included 2007 data fromِ the National Survey ofِ Children’s Health.
Researchers looked atِ data forِ children inِ three age groups, including young children whoِ wereِ 3 toِ 5 years old, children whoِ wereِ 6 toِ 11 years oldِ andِ teenagers whoِ wereِ 12 toِ 17 years old.
They foundِ that young children withِ a current diagnosis ofِ autism wereِ 11 times moreِ likelyِ to haveِ a learning disability, andِ nine times moreِ likelyِ to haveِ anotherِ developmental delay, thanِ young children diagnosed withِ autism inِ the pastِ who noِ longer hadِ a diagnosis.