Autism: Can One be “Over-Diagnosed”?

by ANDY ALVAREZ

Staff Writer  

IMG_2880Autism is a major concern to people, especially parents, in today’s society. Parents are always scared of their child being diagnosed with autism because they do not want it to affect them socially or in their academics. Parents are also afraid of their child getting bullied. Autistic children can also have different behaviors and reactions to each other. Reactions and behaviors like: compulsive behavior, lack of eye contact, speech impairment, repeating of words, hyperactivity, excitability, lacking of social skills etc. However, today and in the past years, studies have shown that people have been over diagnosed.

According to the center for health statistics, a report showed that “13% of children who were diagnosed with autism disorders lose their diagnosis after later tests”. In the U.S.,one in 68 children is believed to be diagnosed with autism. In 2012, one in 88 children were said to be on the spectrum, according to the CDC.

Children who were diagnosed with autism or labeled as autistic, could also be having struggles with things like “developmental delays” or “attention issues”. Parents were surveyed on if children can have a “reversed diagnosis”. About 74% of the the parents agreed and stated that “their child started to show developmentally appropriate social skills or language abilities, as opposed to a child being “cured”. Screening tests can also be used to diagnose a child with autism. Screening tests are used by pediatricians even if the child is not showing any autistic signs. However, being over or mis diagnosed with autism can also begin with a non specialist. According to CNN,”Having a nonspecialist diagnose a child may be adding to the increase in numbers; so may an increased awareness about autism spectrum disorder”. In the end, there is much more research that needs to be done. However, doctors say that “a child’s diagnosis can sometimes change as the children get older”.

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