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School-Aged Functioning of Children Diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder Before Age Three: Parent-Reported Diagnostic, Adaptive, Medication, and School Placement Outcomes

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Abstract

Eighty children with early autism spectrum disorder (ASD) diagnoses (under 36 months) were identified using a chart abstraction protocol applied to early intervention charts. Parents filled out questionnaires by mail when the children were school-aged (ages 6–16 years). Similar to previous studies, approximately 20 % no longer had ASD diagnoses; the other participants were assigned to Moderate/Severe versus Mild ASD outcome groups. These three groups were compared across several variables, including diagnostic features and functional features including adaptive behavior, social experiences, medication use, and school placement. The findings expand our knowledge about outcomes in longitudinal studies of children with ASD, as well as provide support for using relatively indirect methods (chart review, parent questionnaire) to gather this type of information.

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Acknowledgments

This work was done while the first author was supported by Grant # T73MC04320 from Department of Health and Human Services Health Resources and Services Administration. It was also part of a doctoral dissertation completed by Karyn Vacanti-Shova, Fordham University. We are grateful for the assistance of graduate students participating on the first author’s research team while completing their Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities fellowship at the Westchester Institute for Human Development.

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Correspondence to Patricia O. Towle.

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Towle, P.O., Vacanti-Shova, K., Shah, S. et al. School-Aged Functioning of Children Diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder Before Age Three: Parent-Reported Diagnostic, Adaptive, Medication, and School Placement Outcomes. J Autism Dev Disord 44, 1357–1372 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10803-013-1997-2

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