Understanding autism
Understanding autism

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Understanding autism

1.3 Can typical development plateau out?

Some parents report that their baby seemed to be developing perfectly normally, until at some point (typically during the second year) this development seemed to ‘plateau out’ or even go backwards. In the past this pattern was thought to reflect a specific ‘regressive’ form of autism. Some experts no longer accept this view, arguing instead that most infants later diagnosed with autism undergo early subtle changes in the speed and direction of development, which may include the loss of previously acquired skills (Dobbs, 2017). These different views are still not reconciled.


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