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UC Davis Study: Half Of Kids With 22Q May Be Misdiagnosed As Autistic

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DAVIS (CBS13) — A groundbreaking UC Davis study says up to half of kids with a specific genetic disorder may be misdiagnosed as autistic.

According to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, 1 in 88 children in the country are now diagnosed with some form of autism.

A new study though shows a genetic disorder called 22q11.2 deletion syndrome, or 22Q, does not signal a high risk for autism, as previously believed.

“Research studies had quoted rates as high of 50 percent of these children having autism,” said  Kathy Angkustsiri, an assistant professor at the UC Davis MIND Institute.

While 22Q and autism may have similar symptoms, treating them may be different.

“You might have a more targeted distinction of what the difficulties are and you can focus on treatment by doing this kind of research,” said psychology professor Tony Simon.

But, some clinicians argue, if a child has trouble socializing, the child will still need specialized treatment regardless of their diagnosis.

“Each child is so unique to what their deficits and what their behaviors are it would be unethical to treat them all the same so we have to individualize each one of their programs,” said Laura Weigel with the Center for Autism & Related Disorders

The MIND Institute says they are not out to show children are misdiagnosed, only that they want to find the best way to treat these children.

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