Diagnostic Stability in Very Young Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders

Department of Psychology, University of Connecticut, 406 Babbidge Rd., Storrs, CT 06269-1020, USA.
Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders (Impact Factor: 3.34). 05/2008; 38(4):606-15. DOI: 10.1007/s10803-007-0427-8
Source: PubMed


Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) diagnosis in very young children may be delayed due to doubts about validity. In this study, 77 children received a diagnostic and developmental evaluation between 16 and 35 months and also between 42 and 82 months. Diagnoses based on clinical judgment, Childhood Autism Rating Scale, and the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule were stable over time. Diagnoses made using the Autism Diagnostic Interview were slightly less stable. According to clinical judgment, 15 children (19%) moved off the autism spectrum by the second evaluation; none moved onto the spectrum. Results indicate diagnostic stability at acceptable levels for diagnoses made at age 2. Movement off the spectrum may reflect true improvement based on maturation, intervention, or over-diagnosis at age 2.

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Available from: Juhi Pandey
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    • "Secondly, as for intelligence level, studies including individuals with ASD and a Full Scale Intelligence Quotient (FSIQ) below 70 (e.g. Kleinman et al. 2008; Malhi and Singhi 2011; McGovern and Sigman 2005) reported greater stability than studies including individuals with an FSIQ above 70 (Billstedt et al. 2005; Cederlund et al. 2008). Most previous longitudinal studies included individuals diagnosed with autism according to the DSM-III (i.e. "
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    • "As markers for ASD are identified earlier in life, an important question will be how to diagnose and characterize ASD in infancy. Although there is some evidence that a reliable and stable diagnosis can be made as early as 14 months in children with ASD (Chawarska, Klin, Paul, Macari, & Volkmar, 2009; Chawarska, Klin, Paul, & Volkmar, 2007), other studies suggest that ASD diagnoses before 3 years may be relatively unstable, particularly in siblings of children with ASD (Kleinman et al., 2008; Lord et al., 2006; Sutera et al., 2007; Turner & Stone, 2007). Practice guidelines in the United States, such as those developed by the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry suggest that any early developmental assessment include several questions related to ASD symptoms (Volkmar, Cook, Pomeroy, Realmuto, & Tanguay, 1999). "
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