A Glimpse into our autism: Outgrown

19 September 2018

Dear friend,

Yesterday he told me not to worry, that my son would grow out of his autism.

He went on to tell me about a friend of the family who has an autistic son who is 'much better now'.

I felt my eyes roll...

Despite what some news stories have said my son will not outgrow his autism.

Outsiders may look at our boy and remark that he has 'Got better', 'He's doing really well', 'You wouldn't know he has autism' because the outward symptoms of autism have changed as he has grown up.

My son is a person and he has developed and matured as all people do. He has also worked hard to learn coping strategies and is very good in certain situations at masking his difficulties.



According to the DSM it is impossible to "grow out" of autism.

Manifestations of the social and communication impairments and restricted/repetitive behaviors that define autism spectrum disorder are clear in the developmental period. In later life, intervention or compensation, as well as current supports, may mask these difficulties in at least some contexts. However, symptoms remain sufficient to cause current impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning.

A diagnosis of autism means only one thing: you’re autistic; having a condition you can grow out of is something entirely different.

It is important to note that Autism is a spectrum disorder that affects different people in different ways. It is very difficult to say how a person will develop over time. But autism will not go away.

My son will become a teenager with autism and an adult with autism and an elderly person with autism.

Planning for his future quite frankly is one of the scariest challenges we face. Please don't belittle that challenge by telling me he will outgrow his autism.

Yesterday he told me not to worry, that my son would grow out of his autism.

I felt my eyes roll...







A glimpse into autism is a series of short letters that explore the impact autism has on our family on a day to day basis. Disclaimer: this is our experience not all autistic people are the same.



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