One group, which the researchers labeled “bloomers,” included about 10 percent of the children. They had low functioning at first, but then “experienced rapid gains, moving from severely affected to high functioning.” According to the researchers, “[T]hose most likely to ‘bloom’ are those without intellectual disability and those with more educated, nonminority mothers.”
That last point has important treatment implications. “If this heterogeneity in outcomes is associated with parental and community resources, then equal access to early intervention and treatment resources for less-advantaged children is vital,” said the authors.
To read more about diagnosing autism, see Psychiatric News here. Also, see the latest information about autism and related disorders in American Psychiatric Publishing's Textbook of Autism Spectrum Disorders.