Several media outlets report the publication of research that examines a number of children who "recovered" from autism. The research is published at http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/jcpp.12037/pdf
The researchers say that the data clearly support the existence of a cohort who had clear autism at a young age and no longer demonstrated any significant autistic impairments.
The possible presence of subtle limitations or differences in social behavior, social cognition, communication, or executive functions remain to be elucidated in further analyses, as do many other crucial questions, such as the biology of remediable autism, the course of improvement, and the necessary and sufficient conditions, including treatment, for such improvement.
This research challenges the common belief that autism spectrum disorders are inevitably life-long.
To understand research like this, people need to appreciate fully the meaning of phrases like "significant autistic impairments". "Autism" in the clinical sense means "severe and pervasive impairment"; "autism" does not mean all the differences that a person with an ASD diagnosis may have from some perception of "normal". treatment/remediation for autism, that may result in an optimal outcome, relates to clinical level autistic impairment. Appropriate treatment/remediation for autism is not about changing a person's "difference" or trying to make someone "normal".
Autism Aspergers Advocacy Australia (A4) included references to related research describing best or optimal outcomes for autism in its report on autism and mental health as well as its suppressed submission to the Senate Standing Committee on Community Affairs Inquiry into Commonwealth funding and administration of mental health services.
Following are links to media reports of this research: