Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 42, Issue 7, pp 1314–1325 | Cite as

Developmental Trajectories of Adaptive Behaviors from Early Childhood to Adolescence in a Cohort of 152 Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders

  • Amaria Baghdadli
  • Brigitte Assouline
  • Sandrine Sonié
  • Eric Pernon
  • Céline Darrou
  • Cécile Michelon
  • Marie-Christine Picot
  • Charles Aussilloux
  • René Pry
Original Paper


This study examines change in 152 children over an almost 10-year period (T1: 4.9 (±1.3) years; T2: 8.1 (±1.3) years; T3: 15(±1.6) years) using a group-based, semi-parametric method in order to identify distinct developmental trajectories. Important deficits remain at adolescence in the adaptive abilities of children with Autism spectrum disorders, but changes in adaptive skills show two distinct growth rates. The univariate analysis reveals that low growth trajectories for both social and communication outcome are associated with the following characteristics at age 5: low cognitive and language skills, presence of epilepsy, and severity of autism. The multivariate analysis confirms that risk factors at age 5, were low language and severity of autism for both social and communication outcomes 10 years later, and that hours of early intervention was protective factor for communication.


Autism spectrum disorders Developmental trajectory Adaptive behaviors Cohort 



This work was supported by grants from PHRC 1997 and 2006, and Orange Foundation, France. We thank Pr Fallissard and Dr Genolini for their helpful comments about statistics. The authors thank the children and their parents for their continued participation and support over the many years of this longitudinal study, as well as the clinical teams for their contribution to this research. Special thanks to the following research assistants who collected and coded the data: Camille Souche, Mehdi Liratni and Bérengére Sunyer. Finally, the authors thank John Salamon and Susan Orsoni for their careful reading of the manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Amaria Baghdadli
    • 1
  • Brigitte Assouline
    • 2
  • Sandrine Sonié
    • 3
  • Eric Pernon
    • 1
  • Céline Darrou
    • 1
  • Cécile Michelon
    • 1
  • Marie-Christine Picot
    • 1
  • Charles Aussilloux
    • 1
  • René Pry
    • 1
  1. 1.Autism Resources Center, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Department, CHU Montpellier and Laboratory EpsylonUniversity of MontpellierMontpellier cedex 05France
  2. 2.Autism Resources CenterGrenobleFrance
  3. 3.Autism Resources CenterLyonFrance

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