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A 43-year-old member asked:

is autism overdiagnosed?

6 doctor answers22 doctors weighed in
Dr. James Ferguson
Pediatrics 46 years experience
It can be: I have several kids in my practice that carried the ASD (autism spectrum disorder) label while young were really just late talkers and have gone on to function well. Part of the difficulty is created by the lack of a definitive test (like a broken leg on x ray) and the need schools have to label a child in some way to justify the special tutoring or instruction they receive.
Dr. Elizabeth Finley-Belgrad
Child Psychiatry 34 years experience
Not at all: Most recent published data 1/88 kids 1/254 girls 1/54 boys.
Dr. Johanna Fricke
Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics 50 years experience
In the middle: By definition, symptoms of autism appear before age 3. Some toddlers with fetal alcohol spectrum disorders or with mood/behavior problems & strong family history of bipolar disorder exhibit autistic behaviors at that age that do not persist.I've also seen older children previously diagnosed with asperger's syndrome who actually have primary mental illness. Monitoring development over time is key.
Dr. Vikas Duvvuri
Psychiatry 16 years experience
ILL vs error?: The facts are that autism diagnosis is up 78 percent from 2002 and 23 percent from 2006 - a very big deal. However, lets think about whether this is because we can detect more kids with autism or whether more illness exists today. Highly recommend the article below on this question. http://www.nimh.nih.gov/about/director/2012/autism-prevalence-more-affected-or-more-detected.shtml.
Dr. Frank Gaskill
Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics 24 years experience
Yes and no: We are better able to recognize it earlier on and so the numbers are on the rise. Here is an overview of one version of the spectrum. http://youtu.be/xg1ngp1ngds.
Dr. Frank Gaskill
Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics 24 years experience
Autism: No! it's underdiagnosed. Find a psychologist who knows the ados and can complete a thorough developmental evaluation. Here is dr. Barcott who does these early evals. http://youtu.be/yclcpo-siis.

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A member asked:

What are the symptoms of autism?

9 doctor answers26 doctors weighed in
Dr. Paul Leadem
Pediatrics 40 years experience
Socially impaired: Autism is a communication disorder that impairs language and social developement. When a baby is not meeting developemental milestones, does not seem to react socially with smiling, showing pleasure and recognition when seeing a parent, not showing affection, and not clearly recognizing his/her name by a year of age , autism might be suspected and referral to a specialist is warranted.
A 39-year-old member asked:

Are there any natural herbs that will help with autism?

3 doctor answers6 doctors weighed in
Dr. Pamela Middleton
Pediatrics 40 years experience
Possibly: There is biomedical treatment for autism that should be supervised by a physician with specialized training. Search for a physician in your area who has this specialization and they can suggest a treatment protocol based on the specific needs of your child.
Dr. Johanna Fricke
Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics 50 years experience
Unfortunately, the laboratories are proprietary & there are no peer-reviewed scientific studies proving efficacy of such treatments.
Dec 18, 2012
Dr. James Ferguson
Pediatrics 46 years experience
I'm with Dr Fricke, this is quack medicine
Oct 5, 2015
A 37-year-old member asked:

Are there any mentally retarded people who are also savants, like in autism?

3 doctor answers7 doctors weighed in
Dr. Kevin Windisch
Pediatrics 25 years experience
No: Many autistic patients have above average intelligence where as mentally retarded people have below normal intelligence. This lower intelligence will prevent savant like behavior. That does not mean that mr patients cannot make a meaningful contribution to society.
A 44-year-old member asked:

Is autism only confined to industrialized nations?

2 doctor answers7 doctors weighed in
Dr. Carla Enriquez
Pediatrics 50 years experience
No: Autism has a world wide prevalence of 2-4%. This is true for industrialized countries as well as developing societies. There is a genetic component as well as an environmental one. Even in africa, the incidence is about the same as in europe or us. Iceland has a remarkably increased incidence, the audie of which is not yet clearly understood.
A 38-year-old member asked:

Why does it seem like autism is overdiagnosed nowadays?

1 doctor answer1 doctor weighed in
Dr. Donald Jacobson
A Verified Doctoranswered
A US doctor answeredLearn more
It just seems that : Way. In fact many children with it remain undiagnosed. Things are improving on the diagnosis front as diagnostic tools and criteria are refined. I live with a 6 year old autistic grandson. I am grateful that he was diagnosed at age 2, but it remains a rough gig.

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