Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 41, Issue 1, pp 110–121

Stability of Initial Autism Spectrum Disorder Diagnoses in Community Settings

Authors

  • Amy M. Daniels
    • Department of Medical InformaticsKennedy Krieger Institute
    • Department of Mental HealthJohns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
  • Rebecca E. Rosenberg
    • Department of Medical InformaticsKennedy Krieger Institute
  • J. Kiely Law
    • Department of Medical InformaticsKennedy Krieger Institute
    • Department of Pediatrics, Johns Hopkins University School of MedicineJohns Hopkins Medical Institutions
  • Catherine Lord
    • University of Michigan Autism and Communication Disorders Center (UMACC), University of Michigan
  • Walter E. Kaufmann
    • Center for Genetic Disorders of Cognition & BehaviorKennedy Krieger Institute
    • Departments of Pathology, Neurology, Pediatrics, Psychiatry, and Radiology, Johns Hopkins University School of MedicineJohns Hopkins Medical Institutions
    • Department of Medical InformaticsKennedy Krieger Institute
    • Department of Pediatrics, Johns Hopkins University School of MedicineJohns Hopkins Medical Institutions
Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s10803-010-1031-x

Cite this article as:
Daniels, A.M., Rosenberg, R.E., Law, J.K. et al. J Autism Dev Disord (2011) 41: 110. doi:10.1007/s10803-010-1031-x

Abstract

The study’s objectives were to assess diagnostic stability of initial autism spectrum disorder (ASD) diagnoses in community settings and identify factors associated with diagnostic instability using data from a national Web-based autism registry. A Cox proportional hazards model was used to assess the relative risk of change in initial ASD diagnosis as a function of demographic characteristics, diagnostic subtype, environmental factors and natural history. Autistic disorder was the most stable initial diagnosis; pervasive developmental disorder—not otherwise specified was the least stable. Additional factors such as diagnosing clinician, region, when in time a child was initially diagnosed, and history of autistic regression also were significantly associated with diagnostic stability in community settings. Findings suggest that the present classification system and other secular factors may be contributing to increasing instability of community-assigned labels of ASD.

Keywords

Diagnosis stabilityChildrenAutism spectrum disordersCommunity settings

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010