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Is There a Cure for Autism?


Updated March 13, 2009

Question: Is There a Cure for Autism?
Is there a cure for autism?
Answer: General consensus among the medical and scientific community says that no true cure has yet been discovered for autism. On the other hand, many children who, having been diagnosed on the autism spectrum at a young age, later "outgrow" their diagnosis. Some writers and researchers claim that children with autism can be "recovered" (another term for cured) through specific biomedical treatments including special diets, supplements and other alternative methods. The question of whether and how these children were cured, however, is still open.

Part of the controversy over this question stems from lack of consensus regarding just what a "cure" would look like. Just as there is a spectrum of autism disorders, there's also a spectrum of improved skills and abilities. Some people with autism develop impressive language and social skills -- but still think of themselves as autistic. Are they cured?

Some people with autism are able to be mainstreamed in a typical classroom, make friends and do well but continue to display idiosyncratic speech, self-stimulation and other symptoms of autism. Are they cured?

Bottom line, at this point most mainstream medical practitioners would say there is no cure for autism. But they could be wrong.


Autism Society of America

National Institutes of Mental Health

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