When your child faces an autism diagnosis, you may want to know about the prognosis for autism. Since each case of autism is unique and autism includes many different levels of impairment, a prognosis is hard to predict at initial autism diagnosis. However, certain factors influence an autism prognosis. Learn how an autism prognosis is predicted and ways to increase your child's chance for the best possible outcome. Some doctors will not give a parent a definitive answer about an autistic child's long-term future. Part of the reason is that it is always hard to predict the future capabilities of any toddler with certainty. Doctors are also careful to not to mislead parents because the child is still developing and intervention can make a major difference in the child's future.
No cure is known. Children recover occasionally, so that they lose their diagnosis of ASD; this occurs sometimes after intensive treatment and sometimes not. It is not known how often recovery happens; reported rates in unselected samples of children with ASD have ranged from 3% to 25%.[autistic children can acquire language by age 5 or younger, though a few have developed communication skills in later years. Most children with autism lack social support, meaningful relationships, future employment opportunities or self-determination.Although core difficulties tend to persist, symptoms often become less severe with age.Few high-quality studies address long-term prognosis. Some adults show modest improvement in communication skills, but a few decline; no study has focused on autism after midlife. Acquiring language before age six, having an IQ above 50, and having a marketable skill all predict better outcomes; independent living is unlikely with severe autism. A 2004 British study of 68 adults who were diagnosed before 1980 as autistic children with IQ above 50 found that 12% achieved a high level of independence as adults, 10% had some friends and were generally in work but required some support, 19% had some independence but were generally living at home and needed considerable support and supervision in daily living, 46% needed specialist residential provision from facilities specializing in ASD with a high level of support and very limited autonomy, and 12% needed high-level hospital care. A 2005 Swedish study of 78 adults that did not exclude low IQ found worse prognosis; for example, only 4% achieved independence. A 2008 Canadian study of 48 young adults diagnosed with ASD as preschoolers found outcomes ranging through poor (46%), fair (32%), good (17%), and very good (4%); 56% of these young adults had been employed at some point during their lives, mostly in volunteer, sheltered or part-time work. Changes in diagnostic practice and increased availability of effective early intervention make it unclear whether these findings can be generalized to recently diagnosed children.