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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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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.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
Pages (from-to)444-458
Number of pages15
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2021

    Research areas

  • ADOLESCENTS, ADOS, Ambiguous autism symptoms, Autism spectrum disorder, DISABILITIES MONITORING NETWORK, OBSERVATION SCHEDULE, PREVALENCE, Repetitive ritualistic stereotyped behaviors, SITES, SPECTRUM DISORDER, STABILITY, Time trends, UNITED-STATES, Young children

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