[T]he average age of diagnosis for a child with autism is over four years. Because of late diagnoses, many of these children aren’t able to complete therapy during those early, well-documented time windows that are associated with optimal outcomes.
But a series of recent research gives me hope that it may not be too late for these children, or the adults with autism who we previously may have thought had missed their windows for early intervention.
A recent study from my lab shows that autism-related social deficits may be able to be corrected well into adulthood. These findings are in pre-clinical animal models only, yet they hold implications for the wide range of people with autism.
Results from my research and others show promise that modulating brain circuits may also be beneficial for autism behaviors, even when those treatments have been initiated during adulthood. With researchers delineating the precise circuits involved in specific autism behaviors, these findings raise the possibility that targeting specific neural circuits may provide benefit to autism behavior and complement genetic-based treatments.
Further studies and clinical trials still need to be performed to validate these promising pre-clinical data, but they give us hope that when parents ask their child’s doctor whether it’s too late for treatment, the response will be—regardless of age: “No, it’s not too late.”
Read full, original post: We’re working to reverse autism in children and adults—and results so far are promising