Autism is a serious psychiatric condition and misdiagnosing it can cause a lot of problems. Children who are misdiagnose can be severely affected by the special treatment and the pressure that is put on them in different situations. The autism misdiagnosis can sometimes happen due to medical negligence. However, given the fact that the theories behind this psychiatric disorder are conflicting and controversial, it is hard to prove that a doctor has made a wrong diagnosis due to negligence. As a parent the best thing to do is do as much research as possible about this condition in order to give your child the best possible care.
The popular image of autism has been deformed by misconceptions and has now become a stereotype describing a white man with an above the average intelligence which has problems fitting social behavior standards. This popular stereotype seems to be affecting the diagnosis as more and more children are believed to be suffering from this condition. Since the diagnosis methods also use the opinions and interpretations of parents, they are rarely objective. Since this syndrome still has a long way to go before being properly understood, there are a lot of dangers for parents as well as children who are presumptively suffering from autism. For example a very controversial article in 2001 linked autism to mercury in vaccines. Although the article was discredited, many parents took this article as a way to take a stand against vaccines. Furthermore there are also a lot of con artists who offer alternative treatments for this disorder. And the most desperate parents even appealed to chelation therapy which is an old and barbaric method of dealing with mental illnesses.
There are many reasons that lead to the misdiagnosis of this disorder and some of them are truly alarming. In most cases, the misdiagnosis occurs due to misinterpretation of the symptoms which can also be associated with other diseases. However there are some situation when the reasons for the autism misdiagnosis are truly outrageous. For example, some parents fake autism symptoms in order for their children to receive treatment for a similar condition. Due to the fact that funding for this condition has increased, some misinformed parents fake the symptoms because they believe that the treatment will help the real disorder from which the child is suffering. Furthermore due to the TV stereotypes, a lot of adults fake autism syndromes simply because they believe that this is a fashionable condition which affects people who are unique and don’t fit society’s standards of normal behavior.
As we said the autism misdiagnosis can occur due to the fact that the condition shares symptoms with other syndromes such as Pervasive Developmental Disorder, Mental retardation, Asperger syndrome, Stereotypic movement disorder, Childhood disintegrative disorder, Selective Mutism, Rett syndrome, Developmental delay, Deafness, Speech delay, Hearing loss , Language disorder , Language delay AND Schizophrenia. In 2012, the Centers for disease and control released a report showing that 1 in 88 children in US are diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. The spectrum contains a lot of disorders similar to autism. As a parent or relative of somebody who is diagnosed with autism you need to evaluate all other possible scenarios before resorting to medical treatment. The treatment and care are highly expensive and while they are helpful to many, they must solely be used on those who really need it.