Parental recognition of developmental abnormalities in autism

Instituto di Clinica delle Malattie Nervose e Mentali, Bari, Italy.
European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry (Impact Factor: 3.55). 10/1998; 7(3):131-6. DOI: 10.1007/s007870050058
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT In order to identify factors associated with the early detection and referral of children with pervasive developmental disorders, a sample of 82 consecutive referrals to an outpatient diagnostic service was studied. All children were thoroughly assessed with the Autism Diagnostic Interview (ADI), standardized psychological tests and direct observations. Data from the ADI on the first symptoms to arouse parental concern and on the first professional advice sought were analyzed. The mean age of children was 19.1 months (SD = 9.4) when the parents first became concerned, and the first professional advice was sought when children were 24.1 months old (SD = 11.7). The most common parental concerns were for speech and language development, followed by abnormal socio-emotional response, and medical problem or delay in milestone. In both bivariate and multiple regression analyses, the mean age of children at first parental concern and professional advice was significantly lower in the presence of mental retardation in the child, of an older sibling in the family, and of first parental concerns for medical problem/delay in milestone. More specific autistic behaviours, child's gender, social class and place of residence did not influence the age of recognition of the disorder in this sample. Health visitors and general practitioners were the first professionals contacted by parents. The implications of these findings for early detection and diagnosis of autism are discussed.

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Available from: Eric Fombonne, Feb 10, 2015
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    • "Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) has long been associated with impairments in speech production (Paul, Augustyn, Klin, & Volkmar, 2005; American Psychiatric Association, 2000), with the stress, rhythm, and intonation patterns in word utterances being the most commonly affected (Baltaxe & Simmons, 1985; Wilkinson, 1998; Pepp e, Cleland, Gibbon, O'Hare, & Mart ınez-Castilla, 2011). Very little research has examined the perception of prosody in infants who are later diagnosed with ASD, simply because these individuals rarely receive a diagnosis before 2–4 years of age (Rogers & DiLalla, 1990; De Giacomo & Fombonne, 1998; Bryson, Zwaigenbaum, McDermott, Rombough, & Brian, 2008). One such study completed by Paul, Chawarska, Fowler, Cicchetti, and Volkmar (2007) found that while 2-year-olds with ASD or a nonspecific developmental delay (DD) did not prefer trochaic to iambic stress, 1-year-old typically developing (TD) infants (language matched to the ASD group) did. "
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    • "Although most children learn names for objects with relative ease, children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) have potentially severe language acquisition difficulties (e.g. Boucher 2012; De Giacomo and Fombonne 1998; Eigsti et al. 2011) resulting from various factors, including impaired social pragmatic skills (Baron-Cohen et al. 1997; Preissler and Carey 2005; Walton and Ingersoll 2013) and lexical extension and categorisation difficulties (Gastgeb et al. 2006; Menyuk 1978; Naigles et al. 2013). Despite their socialisation impairments, children with ASD may be able to learn words using association and perceptual salience cues (e.g. "
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    • "There is a wide variety of symptoms, behaviours and types of disorders, as well as considerable individual variation. Although language impairment is not a core feature of ASD, the failure to develop sophisticated language is one of the earlier signs of this disorder [4-6]. "
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