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Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a heterogeneous neurodevelopmental disorder of multifactorial origin. Today, ASD is generally not curable, although it is treatable to a varying degree to prevent worse outcomes. Some reports indicate the possibility of major improvements or even recovery in ASD. However, these studies are based on scientific shortcomings, and the lack of a clear definition of ‘cure' in ASD further compromises interpretation of research findings. The development of animal models and decreasing costs of genome sequencing provide new options for treatment research and individualized medicine in ASD. This article briefly reviews several issues related to the question whether there is recovery from ASD, starting with a short overview of the presumed aetiologies.