1) True improvement based on maturation,
2) Intervention, or
3) Over-diagnosis at age 2.
The merits of these reasons is the source of much debate. In this regard, let's examine the public remarks of Professor Camarata, the controversial doctor whose research provides support to Einstein Syndrome author Thomas Sowell and shock jock Michael Savage. In a published article, he states:
The broader question is how one can tell if a child has mental retardation, autism or other pervasive developmental disorder, or language disorder-or will simply "grow out" of the problem. [Emphasis mine.]Camarata doesn't appear to allow for the possibility that an individual can have a pervasive developmental disorder and grow out of the diagnosis. He phrases it as an either/or proposition.
But when we consider these studies in the aggregate, is it even plausible to source all of this movement off the spectrum to "over-diagnosis at age 2" or misdiagnosis. After all, each of these children were formally diagnosed (probably videotaped), and the results of the research were peer-reviewed. Is it even plausible that the researchers conducting the studies were guilty of sloppy diagnostics?
This blogger believes that the first reason - true improvement based on maturation - is the likely source of movement off the spectrum. I believe that the subjects legitimately met the DSM-IV criteria for PDD-NOS at age 2, and later grew out of the diagnosis. This belief is corroberated by the research, as well as my anecdotal experience.