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Prognosis of Autism

Prognosis of Autism: Normal life expectancy but impaired social function. ...see also Overview of Autism

Prognosis for Autism: Although there is no cure, appropriate early educational intervention may improve social development and reduce undesirable behaviors. People with autism have a normal life expectancy. (Source: excerpt from Autism Fact Sheet: NINDS) ... Autism varies a great deal in severity. The most severe cases are marked by extremely repetitive, unusual, self-injurious, and aggressive behavior. This behavior may persist over time and prove very difficult to change, posing a tremendous challenge to those who must live with, treat, and teach these individuals. The mildest forms of autism resemble a personality disorder associated with a perceived learning disability. (Source: excerpt from Autism Fact Sheet: NINDS) ... Symptoms in many children with autism improve with intervention or as the children mature. Some people with autism eventually lead normal or near-normal lives. About a third of children with autistic spectrum disorders eventually develop epilepsy. The risk is highest in children with severe cognitive impairment and motor deficits. Adolescence may worsen behavior problems in some children with autism, who may become depressed or increasingly unmanageable. Parents should be ready to adjust treatment for their child's changing needs. (Source: excerpt from Autism Fact Sheet: NINDS) ... People with autism have normal life expectancies. Symptoms in many children improve with intervention or as the children age. Some people with autism eventually lead normal or near-normal lives. (Source: excerpt from NINDS Autism Information Page: NINDS) ...see also Overview of Autism

Complications:

Complications of Autism may include:

Complications of Autism from the Diseases Database include:


Source: Diseases Database

See also complications of Autism.

Prognosis of Autism Discussion

Autism: NIMH (Excerpt)

But there is help-and hope. Gone are the days when people with autism were isolated, typically sent away to institutions. Today, many youngsters can be helped to attend school with other children. Methods are available to help improve their social, language, and academic skills. Even though more than 60 percent of adults with autism continue to need care throughout their lives, some programs are beginning to demonstrate that with appropriate support, many people with autism can be trained to do meaningful work and participate in the life of the community. (Source: excerpt from Autism: NIMH)

Autism: NIMH (Excerpt)

Today, more than ever before, people with autism can be helped. A combination of early intervention, special education, family support, and in some cases, medication, is helping increasing numbers of children with autism to live more normal lives. Special interventions and education programs can expand their capacity to learn, communicate, and relate to others, while reducing the severity and frequency of disruptive behaviors. Medications can be used to help alleviate certain symptoms. Older children and adults like Paul may also benefit from the treatments that are available today. So, while no cure is in sight, it is possible to greatly improve the day-to-day life of children and adults with autism.

Today, a child who receives effective therapy and education has every hope of using his or her unique capacity to learn. Even some who are seriously mentally retarded can often master many self-help skills like cooking, dressing, doing laundry, and handling money. For such children, greater independence and self-care may be the primary training goals. Other youngsters may go on to learn basic academic skills, like reading, writing, and simple math. Many complete high school. Some, like Temple Grandin, may even earn college degrees. Like anyone else, their personal interests provide strong incentives to learn. Clearly, an important factor in developing a child's long-term potential for independence and success is early intervention. The sooner a child begins to receive help, the more opportunity for learning. Furthermore, because a young child's brain is still forming, scientists believe that early intervention gives children the best chance of developing their full potential. Even so, no matter when the child is diagnosed, it's never too late to begin treatment. (Source: excerpt from Autism: NIMH)

Autism: NIMH (Excerpt)

At present, there is no cure for autism. Nor do children outgrow it. But the capacity to learn and develop new skills is within every child.

With time, children with autism mature and new strengths emerge. Many children with autism seem to go through developmental spurts between ages 5 and 13. Some spontaneously begin to talk-even if repetitively-around age 5 or later. Some, like Paul, become more sociable, or like Alan, more ready to learn. Over time, and with help, children may learn to play with toys appropriately, function socially, and tolerate mild changes in routine. Some children in treatment programs lose enough of their most disabling symptoms to function reasonably well in a regular classroom. Some children with autism make truly dramatic strides. Of course, those with normal or near-normal intelligence and those who develop language tend to have the best outcomes. But even children who start off poorly may make impressive progress. For example, one boy, after 9 years in a program that involved parents as co-therapists, advanced from an IQ of 70 to an IQ of 100 and began to get average grades at a regular school.

While it is natural for parents to hope that their child will "become normal," they should take pride in whatever strides their child does make. Many parents, looking back over the years, find their child has progressed far beyond their initial expectations. (Source: excerpt from Autism: NIMH)

Autism: NIMH (Excerpt)

The majority of adults with autism need lifelong training, ongoing supervision, and reinforcement of skills. The public schools' responsibility for providing these services ends when the person is past school age. As the child becomes a young adult, the family is faced with the challenge of creating a home-based plan or selecting a program or facility that can offer such services.

In some cases, adults with autism can continue to live at home, provided someone is there to supervise at all times. A variety of residential facilities also provide round-the-clock care. Unlike many of the institutions years ago, today's facilities view residents as people with human needs, and offer opportunities for recreation and simple, but meaningful work. Still, some facilities are isolated from the community, separating people with autism from the rest of the world.

Today, a few cities are exploring new ways to help people with autism hold meaningful jobs and live and work within the wider community. Innovative, supportive programs enable adults with autism to live and work in mainstream society, rather than in a segregated environment.

By teaching and reinforcing good work skills and positive social behaviors, such programs help people live up to their potential. Work is meaningful and based on each person's strengths and abilities. For example, people with autism with good hand-eye coordination who do complex, repetitive actions are often especially good at assembly and manufacturing tasks. A worker with a low IQ and few language skills might be trained to work in a restaurant sorting silverware and folding napkins. Adults with higher-level skills have been trained to assemble electronic equipment or do office work.

Based on their skills and interests, participants in such programs fill positions in printing, retail, clerical, manufacturing, and other companies. Once they are carefully trained in a task, they are put to work alongside the regular staff. Like other employees, they are paid for their labor, receive employee benefits, and are included in staff events like company picnics and retirement parties. Companies that hire people through such programs find that these workers make loyal, reliable employees. Employers find that the autistic behaviors, limited social skills, and even occasional tantrums or aggression, do not greatly affect the worker's ability to work efficiently or complete tasks.

Like any other worker, program participants live in houses and apartments within the community. Under the direction of a residence coach, each resident shares as much as possible in tasks like meal-planning, shopping, cooking, and cleanup. For recreation, they go to movies, have picnics, and eat in restaurants. As they are ready, they are taught skills that make them more personally independent. Some take pride in having learned to take a bus on their own, or handling money they've earned themselves. Job and residence coaches, who serve as a link between the program participants and the community, are the key to such programs. There may be as few as two adults with autism assigned to each coach. The job coach demonstrates the steps of a job to the worker, observes behavior, and regularly acknowledges good performance. The job coach also serves as a bridge between the workers with autism and their co-workers. For example, the coach steps in if a worker loses self-control or presents any problems on the job. The coach also provides training in specific social skills, such as waving or saying hello to fellow workers. At home, the residence coach reinforces social and self-help behaviors, and finds ways to help people manage their time and responsibilities.

At present, about a third of all people with autism can live and work in the community with some degree of independence. As scientific research points the way to more effective therapies and as communities establish programs that provide proper support, expectations are that this number will grow. (Source: excerpt from Autism: NIMH)

Unraveling Autism: NIMH (Excerpt)

Some people with autism can function at a relatively high level, with speech and intelligence intact. Others have serious cognitive impairments and language delays, and some never speak. In addition, individuals with autism may seem closed off and shut down, or locked into repetitive behaviors and rigid patterns of thinking. An infant with autism may avoid eye contact, seem deaf, and abruptly stop developing language. The child may act as if unaware of the coming and going of others, or physically attack and injure others without provocation. Infants with autism often remain fixated on a single item or activity, rock or flap their hands, seem insensitive to burns and bruises, and may even mutilate themselves. (Source: excerpt from Unraveling Autism: NIMH)

Autism: Research More

About prognosis:

The 'prognosis' of Autism usually refers to the likely outcome of Autism. The prognosis of Autism may include the duration of Autism, chances of complications of Autism, probable outcomes, prospects for recovery, recovery period for Autism, survival rates, death rates, and other outcome possibilities in the overall prognosis of Autism. Naturally, such forecast issues are by their nature unpredictable.

 

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