Can Children with Autism Recover? If So, How?

Abstract

Although Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) are generally assumed to be lifelong, we review evidence that between 3% and 25% of children reportedly lose their ASD diagnosis and enter the normal range of cognitive, adaptive and social skills. Predictors of recovery include relatively high intelligence, receptive language, verbal and motor imitation, and motor development, but not overall symptom severity. Earlier age of diagnosis and treatment, and a diagnosis of Pervasive Developmental Disorder-Not Otherwise Specified are also favorable signs. The presence of seizures, mental retardation and genetic syndromes are unfavorable signs, whereas head growth does not predict outcome. Controlled studies that report the most recovery came about after the use of behavioral techniques. Residual vulnerabilities affect higher-order communication and attention. Tics, depression and phobias are frequent residual co-morbidities after recovery. Possible mechanisms of recovery include: normalizing input by forcing attention outward or enriching the environment; promoting the reinforcement value of social stimuli; preventing interfering behaviors; mass practice of weak skills; reducing stress and stabilizing arousal. Improving nutrition and sleep quality is non-specifically beneficial.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

References

  1. Aldred, C., Green, J., & Adams, C. (2004). A new social communication intervention for children with autism: Pilot randomised controlled treatment study suggesting effectiveness. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 45, 1420–1430.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  2. American Psychological Association (1994). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (4th ed.). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

    Google Scholar 

  3. Anderson, S. R., Avery, D. L., DiPietro, E. K., Edwards, G. L., & Christan, W. P. (1987). Intensive home-based early intervention with autistic children. Education and Treatment of Children, 10, 352–366.

    Google Scholar 

  4. Anderson, M., Hooker, B., & Herbert, M. (2008). Bridging from cells to cognition in autism pathophysiology biological pathways to defective brain function and plasticity. American Journal of Biochemistry and Biotechnology, 4, 167–176.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  5. Asano, E., Chugani, D. C., Muzik, O., Behen, M., Janisse, J., et al. (2001). Autism in tuberous sclerosis complex is related to both cortical and subcortical dysfunction. Neurology, 57, 1269–1277.

    PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  6. Aschner, M., Allen, J. W., Kimelberg, H. K., LoPachin, R. M., & Streit, W. J. (1999). Glial cells in neurotoxicity development. Annual Review of Pharmacology and Toxicology, 39, 151–73.

    PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  7. Aylward, E. H., Richards, T. L., Berninger, V. W., Nagy, W. E., Field, K. M., Grimme, A. C., et al. (2003). Instructional treatment associated with changes in brain activation in children with dyslexia. Neurology, 61, 212–219.

    PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  8. Bailey, K. J. (2001). Social competence of children with autism classified as best-outcome following behavior analytic treatment. Dissertation Abstracts International: Section B: The Sciences and Engineering, 61, 6696.

    Google Scholar 

  9. Baranek, G. T. (1999). Autism during infancy: A retrospective video analysis of sensory-motor and social behaviors at 9–12 months of age. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 29, 213–224.

    PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  10. Beadle-Brown, J., Murphy, J., Wing, L., Gould, J., Shah, A., & Holmes, N. (2000). Changes in skills for people with intellectual disability: A follow-up of the Camberwell cohort. Journal of Intellectual Disability Research, 44, 12–24.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  11. Belmonte, M., & Yurgelun-Todd, D. (2003). Functional anatomy of impaired selective attention and compensatory processing in autism. Cognitive Brain Research, 17, 651–664.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  12. Billstedt, E., Gillberg, C., & Gillberg, C. (2005). Autism after adolescence: Population-based 13- to 22-year follow-up study of 120 individuals diagnosed with autism in childhood. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 35, 351–360.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  13. Birnbrauer, J. S., & Leach, D. J. (1993). The Murdoch early intervention program after 2 years. Behaviour Change, 10, 63–74.

    Google Scholar 

  14. Bishop, S. L., Richler, J., & Lord, C. (2006). Association between restricted and repetitive behaviors and nonverbal IQ in children with autism spectrum disorders. Child Neuropsychology, 12, 247–267.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  15. Bolte, S., Hubl, D., Feineis-Matthews, S., Prvulovic, D., Dierks, T., & Poustka, F. (2006). Facial affect recognition training in autism: Can we animate the fusiform gyrus? Behavioral Neuroscience, 120, 211–216.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  16. Branchi, I., Francia, N., & Alleva, E. (2004). Epigenetic control of neurobehavioural plasticity: The role of neurotrophins. Behavioural Pharmacology, 15, 353–362.

    PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  17. Cederlund, M., Hagberg, B., Billstedt, E., Gillberg, I. C., & Gillberg, C. (2008). Asperger syndrome and autism: A comparative longitudinal follow-up study more than 5 years after original diagnosis. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 38, 72–85.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  18. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2007). Prevalence of Autism Spectrum Disorders—Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring Network, Six Sites, United States, 2000. February 9th, Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report Surveillance Summaries.

  19. Chang, E. F., & Merzenich, M. M. (2003). Environmental noise retards auditory cortical development. Science, 300, 498–502.

    PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  20. Charman, T., & Baird, G. (2002). Practitioner review: Diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder in 2- and 3-year-old children. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 43, 289–305.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  21. Charman, T., Baron-Cohen, S., Swettenham, J., Baird, G., Drew, A., & Cox, A. (2003). Predicting language outcome in infants with autism and pervasive developmental disorder. International Journal of Language & Communication Disorders, 38, 265–285.

    Google Scholar 

  22. Charman, T., Swettenham, J., Baron-Cohen, S., Cox, A., Baird, G., & Drew, A. (1997). Infants with autism: An investigation of empathy, pretend play, joint attention, and imitation. Developmental Psychology, 33, 781–789.

    PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  23. Cheour, M., Martynova, O., Naatanen, R., Erkkola, R., Sillanpaa, M., Kero, P., et al. (2002). Speech sounds learned by sleeping newborns. Nature, 415, 599–600.

    PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  24. Chugani, D. C. (2004). Serotonin in autism and pediatric epilepsies. Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities Research Reviews, 10, 112–116.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  25. Church, R. B., & Goldin-Meadow, S. (1986). The mismatch between gesture and speech as an index of transitional knowledge. Cognition, 23, 43–71.

    PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  26. Cotman, C. W., & Berchtold, N. C. (2002). Exercise: A behavioral intervention to enhance brain health and plasticity. Trends in Neurosciences, 25, 295–301.

    PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  27. Courchesne, E., Karns, C. M., Davis, H. R., Ziccardi, R., Carper, R. A., Tigue, Z. D., et al. (2001). Unusual brain growth patterns in early life in patients with autistic disorder: An MRI study. Neurology, 57, 245–254.

    PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  28. Courchesne, E., Townsend, J., Akshoomoff, N. A., Saitoh, O., Yeung-Courchesne, R., Lincoln, A. J., et al. (1994). Impairment in shifting attention in autistic and cerebellar patients. Behavioral Neuroscience, 108, 848–865.

    PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  29. Cox, A., Klein, K., Charman, T., Baird, G., Baron-Cohen, S., Swettenham, J., et al. (1999). Autism spectrum disorders at 20 and 42 months of age: Stability of clinical and ADI-R diagnosis. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 40, 719–732.

    PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  30. Curran, L. K., Newschaffer, C. J., Lee, L. C., Crawford, S. O., Johnston, M. V., & Zimmerman, A. W. (2007). Behaviors associated with fever in children with autism spectrum disorders. Pediatrics, 120, e1386–1392.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  31. Dang-Vu, T. T., Desseilles, M., Peigneux, P., & Maquet, P. (2006). A role for sleep in brain plasticity. Pediatric Rehabilitation, 9, 98–118.

    PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  32. Danielsson, S., Gillberg, I. C., Billstedt, E., Gillberg, C., & Olsson, I. (2005). Epilepsy in young adults with autism: A prospective population-based follow-up study of 120 individuals diagnosed in childhood. Epilepsia, 46, 918–923.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  33. Dawson, G. (2008). Early behavioral intervention, brain plasticity, and the prevention of autism spectrum disorder. Development and Psychopathology, 20, 775–803.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  34. Dawson, G., & Zanolli, K. (2003). Early intervention and brain plasticity in autism. Novartis Foundation Symposium, 251, 266–274, discussion 274–280, 281–297.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  35. Degirmenci, B., Miral, S., Kaya, G. C., Iyilikci, L., Arslan, G., Baykara, A., et al. (2008). Technetium-99m HMPAO brain SPECT in autistic children and their families. Psychiatry Research, 162, 236–243.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  36. Dietz, C., Swinkels, S. H. N., Buitelaar, J. K., van Daalen, E., & van Engeland, H. (2007). Stability and change of IQ scores in preschool children with autism spectrum disorder. European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 16, 405–410.

    Google Scholar 

  37. Doidge, N. (2007). The brain that changes itself. New York: Viking Books.

    Google Scholar 

  38. Doupe, A. J., & Kuhl, P. K. (1999). Birdsong and human speech: Common themes and mechanisms. Annual Review of Neuroscience, 22, 567–631.

    PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  39. Drew, A., Baird, G., Baron-Cohen, S., Cox, A., & Slonims, V. (2002). A pilot randomised control trial of a parent training intervention for pre-school children with autism. Preliminary findings and methodological challenges. European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 11(6), 266–272.

    Google Scholar 

  40. Eaves, L., & Ho, H. H. (2004). The very early identification of autism: Outcome to age 4 1/2–5. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 34, 367–378.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  41. Eden, G. F., Jones, K. M., Cappell, K., Gareau, L., Wood, F. B., Zeffiro, T. A., et al. (2004). Neural changes following remediation in adult developmental dyslexia. Neuron, 44, 411–422.

    PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  42. Eikseth, S., Smith, T., Jahr, E., & Eldevik, S. (2002). Intensive behavioral treatment at school for four to seven year old children with autism: A one-year follow-up. Behavior Modification, 26, 49–68.

    Google Scholar 

  43. Elder, L. M., Dawson, G., Toth, K., Fein, D., & Munson, J. (2008). Head circumference as an early predictor of autism symptoms in younger siblings of children with autism spectrum disorder. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 38, 1104–1111.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  44. Fein, D., Dixon, P., Paul, J., & Levin, H. (2005). Brief report: Pervasive developmental disorder can resolve into ADHD: Case illustrations. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 35, 525–534.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  45. Fein, D., Stevens, M., Dunn, M., Waterhouse, L., Allen, D., Rapin, I., et al. (1999). Subtypes of pervasive developmental disorder: Clinical characteristics. Child Neuropsychology, 5, 1–23.

    Google Scholar 

  46. Filipek, P. A., Accardo, P. J., Ashwal, S., Baranek, G. T., Cook Jr., E. H., Dawson, G., et al. (2000). Practice parameter: Screening and diagnosis of autism: Report of the Quality Standards Subcommittee of the American Academy of Neurology and the Child Neurology Society. Neurology, 55, 468–479.

    PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  47. Gabriels, R. L., Cuccaro, M. L., Hill, D. E., Ivers, B. J., & Goldson, E. (2005). Repetitive behaviors in autism: Relationships with associated features. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 26, 169–181.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  48. Gabriels, R. L., Hill, D. E., Pierce, R. A., Rogers, S. A., & Wehner, B. (2001). Predictors of treatment outcome in young children with autism: A retrospective study. Autism, 5, 407–429.

    PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  49. Garber, K. (2007). Neuroscience. Autism’s cause may reside in abnormalities at the synapse. Science, 317, 190–191.

    PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  50. Gauthier, I., Skudlarski, P., Gore, J. C., & Anderson, A. W. (2000). Expertise for cars and birds recruits brain areas involved in face recognition. Nature Neuroscience, 3, 191–197.

    PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  51. Gillberg, C., & Steffenburg, S. (1987). Outcome and prognostic factors in infantile autism and similar conditions: A population-based study of 46 cases followed through puberty. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 17, 273–287.

    PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  52. Goldman, A. I. (2006). Simulating minds: The philosophy, psychology, and neuroscience of mindreading. New York: Oxford University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  53. Goldstein, H. (2002). Communication intervention for children with autism: A review of treatment efficacy. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 32, 373–396.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  54. Goodwin, M. S., Groden, J., Velicer, W. F., Lipsitt, L. P., Baron, M. G., Hofmann, S. G., et al. (2006). Cardiovascular arousal in individuals with autism. Focus on Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities, 21, 100–123.

    Google Scholar 

  55. Gresham, F. M., & MacMillan, D. L. (1998). Early intervention project: Can its claims be substantiated and its effects replicated? Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 28, 5–13.

    PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  56. Grossberg, S., & Seidman, D. (2006). Neural dynamics of autistic behaviors: Cognitive, emotional, and timing substrates. Psychological Review, 113, 483–525.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  57. Gusnard, D. A., Akbudak, E., Shulman, G. L., & Raichle, M. E. (2001). Medial prefrontal cortex and self-referential mental activity: Relation to a default mode of brain function. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 98, 4259–4264.

    PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  58. Guy, J., Gan, J., Selfridge, J., Cobb, S., & Bird, A. (2007). Reversal of neurological defects in a mouse model of Rett syndrome. Science, 315, 1143–1147.

    PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  59. Happe, F., & Frith, U. (2006). The weak coherence account: Detail-focused cognitive style in autism spectrum disorders. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 36, 5–25.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  60. Harris, S. L., & Handleman, J. S. (2000). Age and IQ at intake as predictors of placement for young children with autism: A four- to six-year follow-up. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 30, 137–142.

    PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  61. Held, R., & Hein, A. (1963). Movement-induced stimulation in the development of visually guided behavior. Journal of Comparative & Physiological Psychology, 56, 872–876.

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  62. Hensch, T. K. (2004). Critical period regulation. Annual Review of Neuroscience, 27, 549–579.

    PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  63. Hensch, T. K., Fagiolini, M., Mataga, N., Stryker, M. P., Baekkeskov, S., & Kash, S. F. (1998). Local GABA circuit control of experience-dependent plasticity in developing visual cortex. Science, 282, 1504–1508.

    PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  64. Herbert, M., & Anderson, M. (2008). An expanding spectrum of autism models: From fixed developmental defects to reversible functional impairments. In A. Zimmerman (Ed.), Autism: Current theories and evidence. Totowa, NJ: Humana.

    Google Scholar 

  65. Howard, J. S., Sparkman, C. R., Cohen, H. G., Green, G., & Stanislaw, H. (2005). A comparison of intensive behavior analytic and eclectic treatments for young children with autism. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 26, 359–383.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  66. Howlin, P., Goode, S., Hutton, J., & Rutter, M. (2004). Adult outcome for children with autism. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 45, 212–229.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  67. Hutt, C., Hutt, S. J., Lee, D., & Ounsted, C. (1965). A behavioural and electrophysiological study of autistic children. Journal of Psychiatric Research, 3, 181–198.

    PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  68. Iacoboni, M., & Dapretto, M. (2006). The mirror neuron system and the consequences of its dysfunction. Nature reviews. Neuroscience, 7, 942–951.

    PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  69. Jackson, P. L., Lafleur, M. F., Malouin, F., Richards, C. L., & Doyon, J. (2003). Functional cerebral reorganization following motor sequence learning through mental practice with motor imagery. Neuroimage, 20, 1171–1180.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  70. Jacobs, R. A. (1999). Computational studies of the development of functionally specialized neural modules. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 3, 31–38.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  71. Jacobson, N. S., & Truax, P. (1991). Clinical significance: A statistical approach to defining meaningful change in psychotherapy research. Journal of Counseling and Clinical Psychology, 59, 12–19.

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  72. Jocelyn, L. J., Casiro, O. G., Beattie, D., Bow, J., & Kneisz, J. (1998). Treatment of children with autism: A randomized controlled trial to evaluate a caregiver-based intervention program in community day-care centers. Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics, 19, 326–334.

    PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  73. Johansen-Berg, H., Dawes, H., Guy, C., Smith, S. M., Wade, D. T., & Matthews, P. M. (2002). Correlation between motor improvements and altered fMRI activity after rehabilitative therapy. Brain, 125, 2731–2742.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  74. Johnson, M. H., Halit, H., Grice, S. J., & Karmiloff-Smith, A. (2002). Neuroimaging of typical and atypical: A perspective from multiple levels of analysis. Development and Psychopathology, 14, 521–536.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  75. Johnson, M. K., Raye, C. L., Mitchell, K. J., Touryan, S. R., Greene, E. J., & Nolen-Hoeksema, S. (2006). Dissociating medial frontal and posterior cingulate activity during self-reflection. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, 1, 56–64.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  76. Just, M. A., Cherkassy, V. L., Keller, T. A., & Minshew, N. J. (2004). Cortical activation and synchronization during sentence comprehension in high-functioning autism: Evidence of underconnectivity. Brain, 127, 1811–1821.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  77. Karmiloff-Smith, A. (1992). Beyond modularity: A developmental perspective on cognitive science. Boston, MA: MIT.

    Google Scholar 

  78. Kelley, E., Paul, J., Fein, D., & Naigles, L. R. (2006). Residual language deficits in optimal outcome children with a history of autism. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 36, 807–828.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  79. Kennedy, D. P., Redcay, E., & Courchesne, E. (2006). Failing to deactivate: Resting functional abnormalities in autism. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 103, 8275–8280.

    PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  80. Kinsbourne, M. (1971). The minor cerebral hemisphere as a source of aphasic speech. Archives of Neurology, 25, 302–306.

    PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  81. Kinsbourne, M. (1980). Do repetitive movement patterns in children and animals serve a dearousing function? Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics, 1, 39–42.

    PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  82. Kinsbourne, M. (1987). Cerebral–brainstem relations in infantile autism. In E. Schopler & G. B. Mesibov (Eds.), Neurobiological issues in autism (pp. 107–125). New York: Plenum.

    Google Scholar 

  83. Kleinman, J., Ventola, P., Pandey, J., Verbalis, A., Barton, M., Hodgson, S., et al. (2008). Diagnostic stability in very young children with autism spectrum disorders. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 38, 606–615.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  84. Kolb, B., Gibb, R., & Gonzalez, C. L. R. (2001). Cortical injury and neuroplasticity during brain development. In C. A. Shaw & J. C. McEachern (Eds.), Toward a theory of neuroplasticity. Lillington, NC: Edward Brothers.

    Google Scholar 

  85. Koegel, L. K. K., Koegel, R. L., Harrower, J. K., & Carter, C. M. (1999). Pivotal response intervention 1: Overview of approach. The Journal of the Association for Persons with Severe Handicaps, 24, 174–185.

    Google Scholar 

  86. Kramer, A. F., & Erickson, K. I. (2007). Capitalizing on cortical plasticity: Influence of physical activity on cognition and brain function. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 11, 342–348.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  87. Kuhl, P. K., Williams, K. A., & Meltzoff, A. N. (1991). Cross-modal speech perception in adults and infants using nonspeech auditory stimuli. Journal of Experimental Psychology. Human Perception and Performance, 17, 829–840.

    PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  88. Lewis, M. H. (2004). Environmental complexity and central nervous system development and function. Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities Research Reviews, 10, 91–95.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  89. Lewis, M. H., Tanimura, Y., Lee, L. W., & Bodfish, J. W. (2007). Animal models of restricted repetitive behavior in autism. Behavioural Brain Research, 176, 66–74.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  90. Liepert, J., Bauder, H., Wolfgang, H. R., Miltner, W. H., Taub, E., & Weiller, C. (2000). Treatment-induced cortical reorganization after stroke in humans. Stroke, 31, 1210–1216.

    PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  91. Lord, C. (1995). Follow-up of two-year-olds referred for possible autism. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 36, 1365–1382.

    PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  92. Lord, C., & McGee, J. P. (2001). Educating children with autism. Washington DC: National Academic Press.

    Google Scholar 

  93. Lord, C., Risi, S., DiLavore, P. S., Shulman, C., Thurm, A., & Pickles, A. (2006). Autism from 2 to 9 years of age. Archives of General Psychiatry, 63, 694–701.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  94. Lovaas, I. O. (1987). Behavioral treatment and normal educational and intellectual functioning in young autistic children. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 55, 3–9.

    PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  95. Loveland, K. A., & Kelley, M. L. (1988). Development of adaptive behavior in adolescents and young adults with autism and down syndrome. American Journal on Mental Retardation, 93, 84–92.

    PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  96. Loveland, K. A., & Kelley, M. L. (1991). Development of adaptive behavior in preschoolers with autism or Down syndrome. American Journal on Mental Retardation, 96, 13–20.

    PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  97. Loupe, P. S., Schroeder, S. R., & Tessel, R. E. (1995). FR discrimination training effects in SHR and microencephalic rats. Pharmacology, Biochemistry and Behavior, 51, 869–876.

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  98. Luyster, R., Qiu, S., Lopez, K., & Lord, C. (2007). Predicting outcomes of children referred for autism using the MacArthur–Bates communication inventory. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 50, 667–681.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  99. Mawhood, L., Howlin, P., & Rutter, M. (2000). Autism and developmental receptive language disorder—A comparative follow-up in early adult life. I: Cognitive and language outcomes. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 41, 547–559.

    PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  100. McEachin, J. J., Smith, T., & Lovaas, I. O. (1993). Long-term outcome for children with autism who received early intensive behavioral treatment. American Journal on Mental Retardation, 97, 359–372.

    PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  101. McIntosh, D. N., Reichmann-Decker, A., Winkielman, P., & Wilbarger, J. L. (2006). When the social mirror breaks: Deficits in automatic, but not voluntary, mimicry of emotional facial expressions in autism. Developmental Science, 9, 295–302.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  102. Mirmiran, M., Scholtens, J., van de Poll, N. E., Uylings, H. B., van der Gugten, J., & Boer, G. J. (1983). Effects of experimental suppression of active (REM) sleep during early development upon adult brain and behavior in the rat. Brain Research, 283, 277–286.

    PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  103. Moore, V., & Goodson, S. (2003). How well does early diagnosis of autism stand the test of time? Follow-up study of children assessed for autism at age 2 and development of an early diagnostic service. Autism, 7, 47–63.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  104. Morrow, E. M., Yoo, S. Y., Flavell, S. W., Kim, T. K., Lin, Y., Hill, R. S., et al. (2008). Identifying autism loci and genes by tracing recent shared ancestry. Science, 321, 218–223.

    PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  105. Mraz, K. D. (2007). Accelerated head and body growth in infants later diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders: A comparative study of optimal outcome children. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of Connecticut, Storrs.

  106. Mraz, K. D., Green, J., Dumont-Mathieu, T., Makin, S., & Fein, D. (2007). Correlates of head circumference growth in infants later diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders. Journal of Child Neurology, 22, 700–713.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  107. Muller, R. A. (2007). The study of autism as a distributed disorder. Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities Research Reviews, 13, 85–95.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  108. Mundy, P. (1993). Normal vs. high-functioning status in children with autism. American Journal of Mental Retardation, 97, 381–384.

    Google Scholar 

  109. Mundy, P., & Crowson, M. (1997). Joint attention and early social communication: Implications for research on intervention with autism. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 27, 653–676.

    PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  110. Musso, M., Weiller, C., Kiebel, S., Müller, S. P., Bülau, P., & Rijntjes, M. (1999). Training-induced brain plasticity in aphasia. Brain, 122, 1781–1790.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  111. Myers, S. M., & Johnson, C. P. (2007). Management of children with autism spectrum disorders. Pediatrics, 120, 1162–1182.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  112. Newsom, C., & Rincover, A. (1989). Autism. In E. J. Mash & R. A. Barkley (Eds.), Treatment of childhood disorders (pp. 286–346). New York: Guilford.

    Google Scholar 

  113. Pascalis, O., de Haan, M., & Nelson, C. A. (2002). Is face processing species-specific during the first year of life? Science, 296, 1321–1323.

    PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  114. Peake, D., Notghi, L. M., & Philip, S. (2005). Management of epilepsy in children with autism. Current Paediatrics, 16, 489–494.

    Google Scholar 

  115. Pessah, I. N., & Lein, P. J. (2008). Evidence for environmental susceptibility in autism: What we need to know about gene × environment interactions. In A. Zimmerman (Ed.), Autism: Current theories and models. Totowa, NJ: Humana.

    Google Scholar 

  116. Pierce, K., Muller, R. A., Ambrose, J., Allen, G., & Courchesne, E. (2001). Face processing occurs outside the fusiform ‘face area’ in autism: Evidence from functional MRI. Brain, 124, 2059–2073.

    PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  117. Plaisted, K., Saksida, L., Alcantara, J., & Weisblatt, E. (2003). Towards an understanding of the mechanisms of weak central coherence effects: Experiments in visual configural learning and auditory perception. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological Sciences, 358, 375–386.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  118. Ramey, C. T., & Ramey, S. L. (1998). Early intervention and early experience. American Psychologist, 53, 109–120.

    PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  119. Remington, B., Hastings, R. P., Kovshoff, H., degli Espinosa, F., Jahr, E., Brown, T., et al. (2007). Early intensive behavioral intervention: Outcomes for children with autism and their parents after two years. Journal on Mental Retardation, 112, 418–438.

    Google Scholar 

  120. Renner, P., Klinger, L. G., & Klinger, M. R. (2000). Implicit and explicit memory in autism: Is autism an amnesic disorder? Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 30, 3–14.

    PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  121. Richards, T. L., Corina, D., Serafini, S., Steury, K., Echelard, D. R., Dager, S. R., et al. (2000). Effects of a phonologically driven treatment for dyslexia on lactate levels measured by proton MR spectroscopic imaging. AJNR American Journal of Neuroradiology, 21, 916–922.

    PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  122. Rippon, G., Brock, J., Brown, C., & Boucher, J. (2007). Disordered connectivity in the autistic brain: Challenges for the “new psychophysiology”. International Journal of Psychophysiology, 63, 164–172.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  123. Robins, D., Fein, D., Barton, M., & Green, J. (2001). The modified checklist for children with autism: An initial study investigating the early detection of autism and pervasive developmental disorders. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 31, 131–144.

    PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  124. Rogers, S. (2004). Developmental regression in autism. Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities Research Reviews, 10, 139–143.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  125. Rogers, S. J., Hall, T., Osaki, D., Reaven, J., & Herbison, J. (2000). The Denver model: A comprehensive, integrated educational approach to young children with autism and their families. In J. S. Handleman & S. L. Harris (Eds.), Preschool education programs for children with autism (2nd ed., pp. 95–113). Austin (TX): Pro-Ed.

    Google Scholar 

  126. Rogers, S. J., Hayden, D., Hepburn, S., Charliefue-Smith, R., Hall, T., & Hayes, A. (2006). Teaching young nonverbal children with autism useful speech: A pilot study of the Denver model and PROMPT interventions. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 36(8), 1007–1024.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  127. Rogers, S. J., & Vismara, L. A. (2008). Evidence-based comprehensive treatments for early autism. Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, 37, 8–38.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  128. Rosenthal, M., Troyb, E., Helt, M., Tyson, K., Eigsti, I., Barton, M., et al. (2008). Executive Functioning in Optimal Outcome Children, May, 08. Presented at International Meeting for Autism Research, London.

  129. Rubenstein, J. L., & Merzenich, M. M. (2003). Model of autism: Increased ratio of excitation/inhibition in key neural systems. Genes Brain Behavior, 2, 255–267.

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  130. Rutter, M. (1970). Autistic children: Infancy to adulthood. Seminars in Psychiatry, 2, 435–450.

    PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  131. Rutter, M., Andersen-Wood, L., Beckett, C., Bredenkamp, D., Castle, J., Groothues, C., et al. (1999). Quasi-autistic patterns following severe early global privation. English and Romanian Adoptees (ERA) Study Team. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 40, 537–549.

    PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  132. Saemundsen, E., Ludvigsson, P., Hilmarsdottir, I., & Rafnsson, V. (2007a). Autism spectrum disorders in children with seizures in the first year of life—A population-based study. Epilepsia, 48, 1724–1730.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  133. Saemundsen, E., Ludvigsson, P., & Rafnsson, V. (2007b). Autism spectrum disorders in children with a history of infantile spasms: A population-based study. Journal of Child Neurology, 22, 1102–1107.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  134. Sallows, G. O., & Graupner, T. D. (2005). Intensive behavioral treatment for children with autism: Four-year outcome and predictors. American Journal on Mental Retardation, 110, 417–438.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  135. Schopler, E., Short, A., & Mesibov, G. (1989). Relation of behavioral treatment to normal functioning: Comment on Lovaas. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 57, 162–164.

    PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  136. Schriebman, L., & Koegel, R. L. (1996). Fostering self-management: Parent-delivered pivotal response training. In E. D. Hibbs & P. S. Jensen (Eds.), Psychosocial treatments for child and adolescent disorders: Empirically based strategies for clinical practice (pp. 525–552). Washington, DC, US: American Psychological Association.

    Google Scholar 

  137. Schultz, R. T., Gauthier, I., Klin, A., Fulbright, R. K., Anderson, A. W., Volkmar, F., et al. (2000). Abnormal ventral temporal cortical activity during face discrimination among individuals with autism and Asperger syndrome. Archives of General Psychiatry, 57, 331–340.

    PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  138. Schultz, R. T., Grelotti, D. J., Klin, A., Kleinman, J., Van der Gaag, C., Marois, R., et al. (2003). The role of the fusiform face area in social cognition: Implications for the pathobiology of autism. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological Sciences, 358, 415–427.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  139. Seltzer, M. M., Shattuck, P., Abbeduto, L., & Greenberg, J. S. (2004). Trajectory of development in adolescents and adults with autism. Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities Research Reviews, 10, 234–247.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  140. Shaywitz, B. A., Shaywitz, S. E., Blachman, B. A., Pugh, K. R., Fulbright, R. K., Skudlarski, P., et al. (2004). Development of left occipitotemporal systems for skilled reading in children after a phonologically-based intervention. Biological Psychiatry, 55, 926–933.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  141. Sigman, M., & Ruskin, E. (1999). Continuity and change in the social competence of children with autism, Down syndrome, and developmental delays. Monographs of the Society for Research in Child Development, 64 (1, Serial No. 256).

  142. Simonoff, E., Pickles, A., Charman, T., Chandler, S., Loucas, T., & Baird, G. (2008). Psychiatric disorders in children with autism spectrum disorders: Prevalence, comorbidity, and associated factors in a population-derived sample. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 47, 921–929.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  143. Simos, P. G., Fletcher, J. M., Bergman, E., Breier, J. I., Foorman, B. R., Castillo, E. M., et al. (2002). Dyslexia-specific brain activation profile becomes normal following successful remedial training. Neurology, 58, 1203–1213.

    PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  144. Smith, T., Groen, A. D., & Wynn, J. W. (2000). Randomized trial of intensive early intervention for children with pervasive developmental disorder. American Journal of Mental Retardation, 105, 269–285.

    PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  145. Sohlberg, M. M., & Mateer, C. A. (2001). Cognitive rehabilitation: An integrative neuropsychological approach. NY, New York: Guilford.

    Google Scholar 

  146. Stevens, M. C., Fein, D. A., Dunn, M., Allen, D., Waterhouse, L. H., Feinstein, C., et al. (2000). Subgroups of children with autism by cluster analysis: A longitudinal examination. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 39, 346–352.

    PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  147. Stone, W. L., Lee, E. B., Ashford, L., Brissie, J., Hepburn, S. L., Coonrod, E. E., et al. (1999). Can autism be diagnosed accurately in children under 3 years? Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 40, 219–226.

    PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  148. Sur, M., & Rubenstein, J. L. (2005). Patterning and plasticity of the cerebral cortex. Science, 310, 805–810.

    PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  149. Sutcliffe, J. S. (2008). Genetics. Insights into the pathogenesis of autism. Science, 321, 208–209.

    PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  150. Sutera, S., Pandey, J., Esser, E. L., Rosenthal, M. A., Wilson, L. B., Barton, M., et al. (2007). Predictors of optimal outcome in toddlers diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 37, 98–107.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  151. Szatmari, P., Bartolucci, G., Bremner, R., Bond, S., & Rich, S. (1989). A follow-up of high-functioning autistic children. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 19, 213–225.

    PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  152. Szatmari, P., Georgiades, S., Bryson, S., Zwaigenbaum, L., Roberts, W., Mahoney, W., et al. (2006). Investigating the structure of the restricted, repetitive behaviours and interests domain of autism. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 47, 582–590.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  153. Tager-Flusberg, H. (1997). Perspectives on language and communication in autism. In D. J. Cohen & F. R. Volkmar (Eds.), Handbook of autism and pervasive developmental disorders. New York, NY: Wiley.

    Google Scholar 

  154. Taub, E., Ramey, S. L., DeLuca, S., & Echols, K. (2004). Efficacy of constraint-induced movement therapy for children with cerebral palsy with asymmetric motor impairment. Pediatrics, 113, 305–312.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  155. Temple, E., Deutsch, G. K., Poldrack, R. A., Miller, S. L., Tallal, P., Merzenich, M. M., et al. (2003). Neural deficits in children with dyslexia ameliorated by behavioral remediation: Evidence from functional MRI. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 100, 2860–2865.

    PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  156. Thomas, M., & Karmiloff-Smith, A. (2002). Are developmental disorders like cases of adult brain damage? Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 25, 727–788.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  157. Toth, K., Munson, J., Melzoff, A. N., & Dawson, G. (2006). Early predictors of communication development in young children with autism spectrum disorder: Joint attention, imitation, and toy play. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 36, 993–1005.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  158. Trevarthen, C., & Aitken, K. J. (1994). Infant intersubjectivity: Research, theory and clinical applications. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 421, 3–48.

    Google Scholar 

  159. Turner, M. (1999). Annotation: Repetitive behaviour in autism: A review of psychological research. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 40, 839–849.

    PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  160. Turner, L. M., & Stone, W. L. (2007). Variability in outcome for children with an ASD diagnosis at age 2. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 48, 793–802.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  161. Tyson, K., Rosenthal, M., Helt, M., Troyb, E., Eigsti, I.-M., Naigles, L., et al. (2008). Verbal Learning in Optimal Outcome Children. May, 08. Presented at International Meeting for Autism Research, London.

  162. Vargas, D. L., Nascimbene, C., Krishnan, C., Zimmerman, A. W., & Pardo, C. A. (2005). Neuroglial activation and neuroinflammation in the brain of patients with autism. Annals of Neurology, 57, 67–81.

    PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  163. Ventner, A., Lord, C., & Schopler, E. (1992). A follow-up study of high-functioning autistic children. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 33, 489–507.

    Google Scholar 

  164. Wang, A. T., Dapretto, M., Hariri, A. R., Sigman, M., & Bookheimer, S. Y. (2004). Neural correlates of facial affect processing in children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorder. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 43, 481–490.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  165. Warren, R. P., Margaretten, N. C., Pace, N. C., & Foster, A. (2005). Immune abnormalities in patients with autism. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 16, 189–197.

    Google Scholar 

  166. Waterhouse, L., Fein, D., & Modahl, C. (1996). Neurofunctional mechanisms in autism. Psychological Review, 103, 457–489.

    PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  167. Weiss, M. J. (1999). Differential rates of skill acquisition and outcomes of early intensive behavioral intervention for autism. Behavioral Interventions, 14, 3–22.

    Google Scholar 

  168. Werker, J. F., & Tees, R. C. (1984). Cross-language speech perception: Evidence for perceptual reorganization during the first year of life. Infant Behavior and Development, 7, 49–63.

    Google Scholar 

  169. Werner, E., Dawson, G., Munson, J., & Osterling, J. (2005). Variation in early developmental course in autism and its relation with behavioral outcome at 3–4 years of age. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 35, 337–350.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  170. Werner, E., Dawson, G., Osterling, J., & Dinno, N. (2000). Brief report: Recognition of autism spectrum disorder before one year of age: A retrospective study based on home videotapes. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 30, 157–162.

    PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  171. Widenfalk, J., Olson, L., & Thoren, P. (1999). Deprived of habitual running, rats down regulate BDNF and TrkB messages in the brain. Neuroscience Research, 34, 125–132.

    PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  172. Yarrow, L. J., Rubenstein, J. L., & Pedersen, F. A. (1975). Infant and environment: Early cognitive and motivational development. New York: Wiley.

    Google Scholar 

  173. Zappella, M. (1999). Familial complex tics and autistic behaviour with favourable outcome: A dysmaturational disorder. Infanto, 7, 61–66.

    Google Scholar 

  174. Zappella, M. (2002). Early-onset Tourette syndrome with reversible autistic behaviour: A dysmaturational syndrome. European Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 11, 18–22.

    PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  175. Zappella, M. (2005a). The question of reversible autistic behaviour. In M. Coleman (Ed.), The neurology of autism (pp. 157–172). New York: Oxford University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  176. Zappella, M. (2005b). Clinical and genetic observations on early onset Tourette syndrome with reversible autistic behaviour (dysmaturational syndrome). In D. Riva & I. Rapin (Eds.), Autistic spectrum disorders. Montrouge: John Libbey Eurotext.

    Google Scholar 

  177. Zhou, X., & Merzenich, M. M. (2007). Intensive training in adults refines A1 representations degraded in an early postnatal critical period. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 104, 15935–15940.

    PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  178. Zoghbi, H. (2003). Postnatal neurodevelopmental disorders: Meeting at the synapse? Science, 302, 826–830.

    PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  179. Zwaigenbaum, L., Bryson, S., Rogers, T., Roberts, W., Brian, J., & Szatmari, P. (2005). Behavioral manifestations of autism in the first year of life. International Journal of Developmental Neuroscience, 23, 143–152.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Molly Helt.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Helt, M., Kelley, E., Kinsbourne, M. et al. Can Children with Autism Recover? If So, How?. Neuropsychol Rev 18, 339–366 (2008). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11065-008-9075-9

Download citation

Keywords

  • Autism spectrum disorders
  • Language development
  • Recovery
  • Stereotyped motor behavior