ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

Advances in Psychological Science ›› 2018, Vol. 26 ›› Issue (8): 1465-1474.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2018.01465

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Can children with autism spectrum disorder recover? Research evidence based on “optimal outcomes” and residual deficits of individuals in spectrum

LIN Yunqiang1(), ZHU Huimin1, LIAN Fuxin2   

  1. 1 Hangzhou College for Kindergarten Teachers, Zhejiang Normal University, Hangzhou 311231, China
    2 Institutes of Psychology Sciences, Hangzhou Normal University, Hangzhou 311121, China
  • Received:2017-11-03 Online:2018-08-15 Published:2018-07-02
  • Contact: Yunqiang LIN


Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) are generally assumed to be lifelong due to its poor prognosis. However, more sophisticated research has shown that autistic children diagnosed and treated at earlier ages are able to enter the normal range of cognitive and adaptive skills. With proper intervention, meanwhile, they lose their autism diagnosis and achieve “optimal outcomes.” That said, most of them still display varying degrees of residual deficits. This paper first describes ASD outcomes and traces the definitional evolution of “optimal outcomes.” It then analyses the distribution of optimal outcome children, with a particular focus on residual deficits. In so doing, the paper teases out individual characteristics and predictors of outcome in this group to provide empirical and effective evidence for systematic intervention in children with ASD.

Key words: children with autism spectrum disorder, recovery, optimal outcomes, residual deficits

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