Original Paper

Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 37, Issue 2, pp 341-353

First online:

Initial Characteristics of Psychological Development and Evolution of the Young Autistic Child

  • René PryAffiliated withChild and Adolescent Psychiatry Unit, Clinique Peyre Plantade, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de MontpellierEA 1972, University Paul Valery Email author 
  • , Joffrey BodetAffiliated withEA 1972, University Paul Valery
  • , Eric PernonAffiliated withEA 1972, University Paul Valery
  • , Charles AussillouxAffiliated withChild and Adolescent Psychiatry Unit, Clinique Peyre Plantade, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Montpellier
  • , Amaria BaghdadliAffiliated withChild and Adolescent Psychiatry Unit, Clinique Peyre Plantade, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Montpellier

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Abstract

This longitudinal study assessed multidisciplinary data on 219 children with autistic spectrum disorders from the median age of 5 (Time 1) to 8 years old (Time 2). The evolution of psychological and adaptive data was subjected to cluster analysis. Four clinically meaningful clusters emerged. The first group (21%) demonstrated the most important psychological transformations between the two times of the research. The second group (24%) made progress but less than group 1. The third and biggest group (30%) kept the same developmental slope. The fourth group (25%) showed no significant evolution between the two times of the research. This study highlights important differences among children with autism and the necessity of using a developmental view when considering the autistic syndrome.

Keywords

Autism Psychological development Assessment Subtypes Cluster analysis