The Project

In 1993, I began to videotape some of my children in therapy in order to produce a training video for parents of children with Autism. However, the influx of new patients was rapidly increasing and projects such as this, were put on hold. In 2003, I revisited the unedited videos to see if I could complete the project.

As I looked at these tapes, I realized it would be valuable to locate the children and see how they were doing ten years later. Ten children had been videotaped, and only six of these could now be found.Five of the six children had recovered!

Four of those families agreed to participate in this project.

Many people don’t believe it is possible to recover from Autism.  Others find it offensive that we even suggest recovery as a positive outcome for the disorder. 

I have seen many children recover from Autism.  These children overcome the difficulties presented by Autism.  They develop the skills that were deficient and they succeed academically, learn to communicate appropriately, find friends and lead happy healthy lives. 

When a child no longer meets the criteria for a diagnosis on the Autism Spectrum, when he scores within the normal range on tests of intelligence, language and adaptive functioning…we confidently use the term “recovered”.

Over the past few years, there is a growing concern amongst adults with Asperger’s  that recovery as an end goal may be depriving them of their rights, or altering their personalities in a way that is not desired or acceptable.  It has never been our desire or intention to alter any person’s skills in a detrimental fashion. 

All personalities change over the course of development.  We all learn skills as we grow older and these new skills change the way we interact with and learn from the world. 

Our intention in providing proof of Recovery and in identifying a course of action toward that goal is only to bring hope and determination to those families who feel it is in the best interest of their child to learn new skills in order to better access the rewards of life. 

We feel every child has the right to be healthy, to be taught the skills they need to interact appropriately with their peers and to be allowed to demonstrate their strengths, instead of fight their weaknesses.  We feel confident we have found the path to make this a reality.

Doreen Granpeesheh, PhD, BCBA