Is There a Cure for Autism?

Our understanding of autism has grown tremendously since it was first described in 1943 by Leo
Kanner.  Some of the earlier searches for “cures” now seem unrealistic in terms of today’s
understanding of organic brain disorders.  To cure means: “to restore to health, soundness, or
normality.”  In the medical sense, there is no cure for the differences in brain functioning which
result in autism, although overt symptoms can be alleviated (e.g., reduction in anxiety, improved
attention, etc.). Currently, we are finding better ways to understand the disorder and help people
adapt with the various symptoms of the disability.  With appropriate intervention, many of the
deficits and maladaptive behaviors that impact everyday living can be successfully addressed.  
The majority of children and adults diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder continue to
exhibit symptoms of autism, to some degree, throughout their lives.  While not all professionals
agree on what kind of intervention is most appropriate, they all agree that intervention should
start as early as an Autism Spectrum Disorder is suspected.  


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