Time Trends in Diagnostics and Clinical Features of Young Children Referred on Suspicion of Autism: A Population-Based Clinical Cohort Study, 2000-2010

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  • Sara Højslev Avlund
  • Per Hove Thomsen
  • Diana Schendel
  • Meta Jørgensen, Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, The Headache Clinic, Aarhus University Hospital, Aarhus, Denmark Department of Neurology, Aarhus University Hospital, Aarhus, Denmark., Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Aarhus University Hospital Psychiatry, Palle Juul-Jensens Boulevard 175, Entrance K, 8200, Århus, Denmark., Department of Oncology, Odense University Hospital, Kløvervænget 19, Entrance 85, 5000, Odense C, Denmark. Julie.killerup.kaae@rsyd.dk., Agrointelli, Aarhus 8200, Denmark, Special Area Autism, Central Region Denmark, Samsøvej 33, 8383, LandboMidtøst, Hinnerup
  • ,
  • Loa Clausen

The present study aimed to explore clinical trends in the period 2000-2010, along with discriminating clinical factors for autism spectrum disorder (ASD), in young children suspected of ASD. The following trends were observed: (1) a rise in referrals including an increase in referrals among language-abled children, (2) an increase in children assigned an ASD diagnosis after assessment, and (3) a decrease in Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule total score. The distribution of ASD subtypes and IQ level did not change. Results suggest that a higher proportion of children with less severe autism symptoms were referred and diagnosed. Further, restricted and repetitive behaviors seemed to be a key discriminating factor when distinguishing between ASD and no-ASD children with a discordant symptom profile.

TidsskriftJournal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
StatusE-pub ahead of print - 30 maj 2020

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