Social and communication development in toddlers with early and later diagnosis of autism spectrum disorders
ABSTRACT To our knowledge, no prospective studies of the developmental course of early and later diagnosis of autism spectrum disorders from 14 months of age exist.
To examine patterns of development from 14 to 24 months in children with early and later diagnosis of autism spectrum disorders.
Prospective, longitudinal design in which 125 infants at high and low risk for autism were tested from age 14 to 36 months. Comprehensive standardized assessments included measures of social, communication, and play behavior.
Testing occurred at a major medical and research institution as part of a large, ongoing longitudinal study.
Low-risk controls (n = 18) and siblings of children with autism, grouped on the basis of outcome diagnostic classification at 30 or 36 months: autism spectrum disorders (early diagnosis, n = 16; later diagnosis, n = 14), broader autism phenotype (n = 19), and non-broader autism phenotype (n = 58).
Social, communication, and symbolic abilities were assessed.
Social, communication, and play behavior in the early-diagnosis group differed from that in all other groups by 14 months of age. By 24 months, the later-diagnosis group differed from the non-autism spectrum disorder groups in social and communication behavior, but not from the early-diagnosis group. Examination of growth trajectories suggests that autism may involve developmental arrest, slowing, or even regression.
This study provides insight into different patterns of development of children with early vs later diagnosis of autism spectrum disorders.
Full-textDOI: · Available from: Rebecca Landa, Apr 03, 2014
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ABSTRACT: Autism spectrum disorder (autism) is a highly prevalent and heterogeneous family of neurodevelopmental disorders of genetic origins with potentially devastating implications for child, family, health and educational systems. Despite advances in paper-and-pencil screening and in standardization of diagnostic procedures, diagnosis of autism in the US still hovers around the ages of four or five years, later still in disadvantaged communities, and several years after the age of two to three years when the condition can be reliably diagnosed by expert clinicians. As early detection and treatment are two of the most important factors optimizing outcome, and given that diagnosis is typically a necessary condition for families to have access to early treatment, reducing age of diagnosis has become one of the greatest priorities of the field. Recent advances in developmental social neuroscience promise the advent of cost-effective and community-viable, performance-based procedures, and suggest a complementary method for promoting universal screening and much greater access to the diagnosis process. Small but critical studies have already reported on experiments that differentiate groups of children at risk for autism from controls, and at least one study so far could predict diagnostic classification and level of disability on the basis of a brief experiment. Although the road to translating such procedures into effective devices for screening and diagnosis is still a long one, and premature claims should be avoided, this effort could be critical in addressing this worldwide public health challenge.
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ABSTRACT: The diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) made before age 3 has been found to be remarkably stable in clinic- and community-ascertained samples. The stability of an ASD diagnosis in prospectively ascertained samples of infants at risk for ASD due to familial factors has not yet been studied, however. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends intensive surveillance and screening for this high-risk group, which may afford earlier identification. Therefore, it is critical to understand the stability of an ASD diagnosis made before age 3 in young children at familial risk. Data were pooled across seven sites of the Baby Siblings Research Consortium. Evaluations of 418 later-born siblings of children with ASD were conducted at 18, 24, and 36 months of age and a clinical diagnosis of ASD or Not ASD was made at each age. The stability of an ASD diagnosis at 18 months was 93% and at 24 months was 82%. There were relatively few children diagnosed with ASD at 18 or 24 months whose diagnosis was not confirmed at 36 months. There were, however, many children with ASD outcomes at 36 months who had not yet been diagnosed at 18 months (63%) or 24 months (41%). The stability of an ASD diagnosis in this familial-risk sample was high at both 18 and 24 months of age and comparable with previous data from clinic- and community-ascertained samples. However, almost half of the children with ASD outcomes were not identified as being on the spectrum at 24 months and did not receive an ASD diagnosis until 36 months. Thus, longitudinal follow-up is critical for children with early signs of social-communication difficulties, even if they do not meet diagnostic criteria at initial assessment. A public health implication of these data is that screening for ASD may need to be repeated multiple times in the first years of life. These data also suggest that there is a period of early development in which ASD features unfold and emerge but have not yet reached levels supportive of a diagnosis. © 2015 Association for Child and Adolescent Mental Health.Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry 04/2015; DOI:10.1111/jcpp.12421 · 5.67 Impact Factor
Dataset: INT Autismo 13-2