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Summary: A new study shows that a portion of children that are diagnosed as autistic may actually have a genetic deletion disorder instead (22q11.2 deletion syndrome). Although those with the deletion were previously said to be 20 – 50% likely to have autism, the 29 children with the deletion that were studied did not meet “strict diagnostic criteria” for autism. Children with 22q11.2 deletion syndrome may have heart problems, weakened immune systems, and head malformations. Although they may appear socially awkward and have significant anxiety, they do have high levels of social motivation and therefore, autism treatments do not work for them.

Think About:

1. How may the children who have been misdiagnosed be suffering?
2. How does the title of “autistic” affect identity, development, and socialization?
3. What kinds of treatments are more suited for those with 22q11.2 deletion syndrome?
4. Should all autistic children be screened for this deletion?

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