Original Paper

Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 40, Issue 11, pp 1389-1402

Onset Patterns Prior to 36 Months in Autism Spectrum Disorders

  • Luther G. KalbAffiliated withCenter for Autism and Related Disorders, Kennedy Krieger Institute
  • , J. K. LawAffiliated withDepartment of Medical Informatics, Kennedy Krieger InstituteDepartment of Pediatrics, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
  • , Rebecca LandaAffiliated withCenter for Autism and Related Disorders, Kennedy Krieger InstituteDepartment of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
  • , Paul A. LawAffiliated withDepartment of Medical Informatics, Kennedy Krieger InstituteDepartment of Pediatrics, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine Email author 

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Abstract

The present study investigated differences among children with three different patterns of autism symptom onset: regression, plateau, and no loss and no plateau. Cross-sectional data were collected from parents of children aged 3–17 years with an autism spectrum disorder (n = 2,720) who were recruited through a US-based online research database. Parental report of developmental characteristics was assessed through a parent questionnaire, and current autism symptoms were measured via the Social Responsiveness Scale and Social Communication Questionnaire. Multivariate analyses indicated that children with regression had a distinct developmental pattern marked by less delayed early development. However, following regression, these children evinced elevated autism symptom scores and an increased risk for poorer outcomes when compared with the other onset groups.

Keywords

Autism Pervasive developmental disorders Regression Symptom Onset pattern