'My son had autism. Then he didn't.'
One dad's story.
I'm trying to hold him, but he's squirming. The airport lounge is packed with people, and I can feel all eyes on me: the dad who cannot appease his toddler. Brandy sees me struggling and comes up with a quick fix. She flips over the stroller. She places Jackson next to it. He begins to spin one of the wheels with his hand. He keeps spinning it. Over and over and over. He's completely absorbed. I look at Brandy quizzically. She shrugs.
Jackson was 3 years old at the time, and by all accounts—from mother’s intuition to the experts’ definition—he was on the spectrum. The behavioral psychologists saw what we saw but were hesistant to make an official diagnosis. His brain is still developing. So much can change in six months. So time passed. His clothes went from 4T to 5T. Birthday candles were lit, blown out, and saved in the kitchen drawer. By age 6, the appointments with the behavioral psychologists were over. The autism books came off my wife's nightstand. Our tears were redirected to other things like kindergarten graduations.
From Healthy Living: Study says for some children, autism symptoms fade
It's a mystery we still don't understand. Did he have autism and develop out of it? Did he ever have autism? Slowly but surely, experts are unraveling this developmental disorder, and yesterday a small but groundbreaking study may just prove that Jackson is not alone.
Bing: Can autism just go away?
The study, funded by the National Institute of Health, researched 34 individuals ages 8 to 21 who had been diagnosed with autism early in life. The study found that they no longer had the symptoms. The conclusion: Some people may age out of autism. Of course, the autism community is buoyed by the findings, but are cautious to say this is a common outcome.
More: 10 moms changing the face of autism
Let's add to this discussion a study that appeared in Pediatrics last year. It focused on 61 children aged 14 to 35 months who were on the spectrum. Two years after their initial diagnosis, 20 percent of those children no longer met the ASD criteria, which suggests that either the children are improving or were misdiagnosed from the start.
Meanwhile, the prevalence of autism has consistently been on the rise. In 1998, it was 1 in 1,000. In 2002, it was 1 in 150. Today, it's 1 in 88. Is it our increasing awareness that’s inflating those figures? Is something mutating in our DNA? Does it lurk in our air or cleaning products or groundwater?
More from Healthy Living: What is autism, exactly?
That’s the thing with autism: There is no pathology. It’s not in the blood. Biopsies don’t detect it. It doesn’t appear when you shine a penlight into the pupil. It makes perfect sense that this disorder is represented in awareness campaigns by a puzzle piece.
More: Why I give my 9-year old pot
For our family, the autism spectrum was like the Alaskan winter. There was no light. The darkness went on and on and on. Then one day, a yolk-hued color broke across the horizon. And it stayed. But we haven't forgotten what the darkness was like.
More from Parenting.com:
Can autism go away? Through Christ, yes. Through the "things of this world", no.
that is an uplifting story...i would so love to be able to understand my 8 yr old
grandson when i am watching him..however it is improving but at a snails pace!!!
Hopefully some answers will come !!! I love you Aaron
Also Autism is just a story, when I say story I mean I see books that talks about autism and it tells about it differently.
I accept autism and I have high hopes that they'll be some out there that understands my autism and accepts it.
News, stories, tips and laughs for moms & dads
You're cold-hearted? We'll take care of that for you...read on.
This kid despises poetry and he's not afraid to let you know.
I used to be one of those moms who thought, 'who on earth would bring their child to an event like that?' and then I had a son. Here's why you might become a convert, too.
Take a look at your house for these telltale signs that a cat is running the show.
Check out this list of requirements you should meet before getting a new puppy or adult dog.
Virtually everything you need to know about relationships, you learned in nursery school: Treat people as you want to be treated, clean up after yourself, and don’t be a know-it-all.
Here are our experts' best tips for how to be a positive role model for your kids so that they grow up healthy, strong and confident about the way they look.
Can you relate?
Much like their famous owners, these pooches live a fabulous life. Some are rescues, others purebred, but one thing is certain – these dogs play an important part in their famous parents' lives. Can you guess who owns each of these dogs?
We captured a frame-by-frame look just for you.
Two controversial science projects resembled weapons, school officials said.
Make the most of the summer with these family-oriented activities!