Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 18, Issue 2, pp 207–216

Factors relating to age of onset in autism

  • Andrew B. Short
  • Eric Schopler

DOI: 10.1007/BF02211947

Cite this article as:
Short, A.B. & Schopler, E. J Autism Dev Disord (1988) 18: 207. doi:10.1007/BF02211947


We examined the distribution of ages of onset of autism and related communication handicaps and assessed factors related to age of onset. Subjects were approximately 1,800 children seen at Division TEACCH (Treatment andEducation ofAutistic and relatedCommunication handicappedCHildren) since 1970. Exact numbers of subjects varied with different analyses due to missing data. Data were gathered through direct assessment, interview, and questionnaire. Seventy-six percent of autistic children were identified by parents by 24 months of age, and 94% by 36 months. Families reporting early onset tended to seek help sooner and to be seen by TEACCH sooner. Early onset was most clearly related to severity as measured by IQ and ratings on the Childhood Autism Rating Scale (Schopler, Reichler, & Renner, 1986). The findings support the treatment of age of onset of autism by DSM-III-R (American Psychiatric Association, 1987).

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Andrew B. Short
    • 1
  • Eric Schopler
    • 1
  1. 1.University of North Carolina at Chapel HillChapel HillUSA

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