Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 43, Issue 3, pp 579–584 | Cite as

Children with Disabilities are Often Misdiagnosed Initially and Children with Neuropsychiatric Disorders are Referred to Adequate Resources 30 Months Later Than Children with Other Disabilities

  • Alli-Marie Tuominen-ErikssonEmail author
  • Yvonne Svensson
  • Ronny K. Gunnarsson
Original Paper


Disabilities in a child may lead to low self-esteem and social problems. The lives of parents and siblings are also affected. Early intervention may decrease these consequences. To promote early intervention early referral to adequate resources is essential. In a longitudinal retrospective observational study it was found that children with neuropsychiatric disorders without mental retardation were referred 30 months later than other children. Agreement between the referrer’s identification of the main disability and the habilitation center’s was low with Kappa coefficient 0.44. Whereby agreement on diagnosis between referrer and habilitation centers was low, earlier referral should be promoted.


Asperger syndrome Attention deficit disorder with hyperactivity Autistic disorder Early diagnoses Referral and consultation Mental retardation 



Financial support was given by Research and Development Council of the habilitation services of the Region Västra Götaland. Support was also given by Research and Development Council of the county Fyrbodal of the Region Västra Götaland.

Conflict of interest

This supplement was not sponsored by outside commercial interests. It was funded entirely by ECONA, Via dei Marsi, 78, 00185 Roma, Italy.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alli-Marie Tuominen-Eriksson
    • 1
    Email author
  • Yvonne Svensson
    • 1
  • Ronny K. Gunnarsson
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.Child and Adolescent Habilitation Center in Fyrbodal CountyVänersborgSweden
  2. 2.Department of Public Health and Community MedicineUniversity of GothenburgGothenburgSweden
  3. 3.Cairns Clinical School, School of Medicine and DentistryJames Cook UniversityCairnsAustralia

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