How Early Do Parent Concerns Predict Later Autism Diagnosis?

M.I.N.D. Institute, University of California Davis Health System, Sacramento, CA 95817, USA.
Journal of developmental and behavioral pediatrics: JDBP (Impact Factor: 2.13). 10/2009; 30(5):367-75. DOI: 10.1097/DBP.0b013e3181ba0fcf
Source: PubMed


To study the relationship between parent concerns about development in the first year and a half of life and later autism diagnostic outcomes.
Parent concerns about development were collected for infants at high and low risk for autism, using a prospective, longitudinal design. Parents were asked about developmental concerns at study intake and when their infant was 6, 12, and 18 months. Infants were then followed up until 36 months, when diagnostic status was determined.
By the time their child was 12 months, parents who have an older child with autism reported significantly more concerns in autism spectrum disorders-related areas than parents of children with typical outcomes. These concerns were significantly related to independent measures of developmental status and autism symptoms and helped predict which infants would later be diagnosed with autism or autism spectrum disorders. At 6 months, however, the concerns of parents who have an older child with autism do not predict outcome well.
Explicitly probing for parent concerns about development is useful for identifying children in need of closer monitoring and surveillance, as recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

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    • "Moreover, our operationalization of children's social motivation was broad (i.e., preference to be in the company of others) and based on parents' perspective. Even though parent reports of children's behavior are generally reliable (e.g., Dirks and Boyle 2010), meaningful (Verhulst et al. 1994) and diagnostically relevant (Ozonoff et al. 2009), it may be difficult for parents to report on the internal motives of their child. Future studies on the role of children's social motivation in self-presentation or reputation management should therefore ideally include both broad and narrow operationalizations of social motivation and different informants (parent and child) or methods (experiment and questionnaires). "
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    • "ger - Flusberg , 2010 ; Ruser et al . , 2007 ) . The elevated levels of concern consistently reported by mothers of high risk infants across the first year of life may also be associated with reduced linguistic input to the extent that those con - cerns reflect increased anxiety and a less sensitive pat - tern of responding ( Hess & Landa , 2012 ; Ozonoff et al . , 2009 ; Sacrey et al . , 2015 ; Talbott , Nelson , & Tager - Flusberg , 2015a ) . Alternatively , elevated concerns driven by maternal hypervigilance may be associated with increased attention , prompting , and reinforcing of infants ' early communication . Increases in these facili - tative maternal behaviors may also be supported by high ri"
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    • "Sensitivity = TP/(TP + FN); Specificity = TN/(TN + FP); Positive predictive value = TP/(TP + FP); Negative predictive value = TN/(TN + FN). © 2015 Association for Child and Adolescent Mental Health. 2 Sally Ozonoff et al. & Landa, 2012; Ozonoff et al., 2009 "
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