It is impossible to make an overview of how any individual child will grow up and develop. All children continue
to grow, regardless of delays or the existence of unusual behaviors. The prognosis for children with autism is
surprisingly alarming and consistent across a broad range of studies about 2% will attain normal functioning,
with perhaps 30% labeled "high-functioning autistic." These high-functioning autistics generally show some
oddity in behavior, have a tough time relating to others, and have few or no personal friends. While the majority
of individuals with autism live an unconventional and confused life, dependent on the care of others to survive.
The outcome for these individuals depends on the severity of their disability and the level of therapy they receive.
People with autism have normal life expectancies. Autism symptoms vary from mild to severe. Individuals with
autism can live very active lifestyles. They are very capable of performing physically. Also, an active lifestyle is
more likely to help with weight control, stamina, strength, cardiovascular endurance, self-esteem, and
This life- long disorder will have an effect on the individual's life. Early intervention that includes behavioral
modification and speech therapy may also change the outcome positively. A child diagnosed with autism will
receive beneficial intervention beginning at an earlier age than was possible many years ago. This means each
child's chances for improving behavior are greater today than in the past.
With proper therapy sessions, individuals with autism can improve their ways of communication and social
interaction to live productive independent lifestyles in society. Autistic children with IQ scores of 70 and above
can live and work more practical independent lives. (Gale Encyclopedia of Psychology)
Progress and Treatments
For many children, autism symptoms such as compulsive behavior, challenging behaviors appear to improve
with treatment and with age. Some individuals with autism eventually lead normal or near-normal lives. It is
important to find effective services, treatments and education for children with autism as soon as possible. The
earlier these children receive appropriate treatment, the better their prognosis.
Intervention must address both communication and behaviors and it must be structured, intensive, and
individualized. This is especially important in children who have good cognitive abilities. Appropriate early
intervention may allow some children with autism to enter the educational mainstream, or at least require a less
restrictive educational placement. It is extremely important to provide structure in everyday life, making strict
guidelines and being consistent.
There is currently no cure for autism, but appropriate treatment may promote fairly typical development and
reduce abnormal behaviors. Since there is no cure for autism, proper treatments such as therapy must be taken
to help these individuals manage their difficulties. During adolescence, some children with autism may become
depressed or experience behavioral problems. Parents of these children should be ready to adjust treatment for
their child as needed.
Since the individual with autism is often judged by others in negative ways, parents may need to be protective
and become advocates. Quality of life for a person with autism depends on being involved with other people and
being included in activities with others. It appears that advocates, friends, and family who include, interpret, and
assist the individual with autism is vital to their success.