New Research Suggests Parents Can 'Move' Their Children Off Autism

ABC News' Dr. Richard Besser sheds insight on a potentially promising report.
3:46 | 07/31/14

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Transcript for New Research Suggests Parents Can 'Move' Their Children Off Autism
First up a new study on autism. By one estimate 1 in 68 children have that disorder. A number climbing and thus new research sulgs it may be possible to move kids off the spectrum. Juju Chang hasthe details. Reporter: Meet 16-year-old mark and 17-year-old Matt both active social high schoolers. Both considered recovered from something that's long been considered irreversible. Autism. Mark's mom Cynthia says his language skills began slipping at 14 months. They said we should consider institutionalizing him and trying again. To have another baby. And that just wasn't an option for us. Reporter: Lori noticed peculiar behaviors when Matt was just 19 months. With we went to the pediatric developmental specialist, he told us at that time that he wasn't sure that he would ever be able to function on his own. Reporter: Both boys featured in this upmany come "New York times" magazine story, showing 1 in 10 children shed symptoms entirely before adulthood. We did 45 hours of therapy in our home every week. Reporter: Cynthia credits years of applied behavior analysis or aba. But the road to autism recovery is different for each child. At 11 we had him re-evaluated and couldn't find any form of autism. Reporter: Lori fees early intervention with they are I is key. By the age of 10 she said Matt outgrew his diagnosis, as well. His teachers didn't even have any idea that he'd ever been diagnosed. Reporter: Experts say while promising it shouldn't raise false hopes. There's no magic bullet. No magic bullet. No secret sauce. We need more investment in science and research to help us understand why these kids are responding so that we can offer this treatment and improvement opportunity to more children. Reporter: But Matt and mark believe they're living proof it's possible to move off the autism spectrum and move on with life. It's a Normal teenage life that I'm living now and it's really something I need to be grateful for. Reporter: For "Good morning America," juju Chang, ABC news, New York. Dr. Richard Besser joins us now. So no magic bullet. No silver bullet but there are some encouraging signs here, right? You know, you hear these stories. You can't help but be optimistic but I'm very careful here because when we talk about autism. We're not talking about one thing. We're talking about a variety of different conditions that all appear the same with problems with communication, social interaction and behavior. Do we know enough about autism? I mean could these children have had another issue? It's difficult to say. Well, they clearly meet the definition of autism but I worry about the pressure this may put on parents because you'll have parents who recognized it early, got all the help that they could for their child and they don't see the same kind of progress and you're right. We need research to understand which children are going to respond and who its going to respond to what ear therapy. What do you do to make sure your child has the best outcome? The first thing for every parent make sure you're seeing a doctor from the beginning who is screening. You know, from birth I'm always looking for developmental signs and if I see there's a problem I refer them. If your child is on the autism spectrum you want to make sure they're getting services. Some schools will give three hours a week and some schools are going to give 30 hours a week and this family had 45 hours a week in the home and that's not accessible to everybody. We need to know who is going to benefit from that and which children is that really not going to do that much but early detection and early therapy is going to help every child reach their potential, whatever that is. All right. Very good information. Thank you so much, rich, thank you. Well now to the stunning end

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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