Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 45, Issue 4, pp 1096–1102 | Cite as

Brief Report: Emergency Department Utilization by Individuals with Autism

  • Dorothea A. IannuzziEmail author
  • Erika R. Cheng
  • Sarabeth Broder-Fingert
  • Margaret L. Bauman
Brief Report


To identify medical problems most commonly presenting to emergency departments among individuals with autism as compared to non-autistic persons across age groups. Data was obtained from the 2010 National Emergency Department database and was analyzed by age categories: 3–5, 6–11, 12–15, 16–18 and 19 years and older. Epilepsy emerged as the leading presenting diagnosis among those with Autism spectrum disorder (ASD), ages 16–19 years and 19 over. Psychiatric conditions were primary among ASD individuals aged 12–15 years, accounting for more than 11 % of all visits. In this sample, age-related differences were noted in medical diagnoses among autistic individuals as compared to non-autistic persons.


Emergency department (ED) Autism (ASD) Seizure Epilepsy Psychiatric Self-injurious behavior 



This study was supported through the Organization for Autism Research (OAR), through their doctoral student research grant program. The corresponding author was a doctoral student at Simmons College School of Social Work when the grant was received.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dorothea A. Iannuzzi
    • 1
    • 4
    Email author
  • Erika R. Cheng
    • 2
  • Sarabeth Broder-Fingert
    • 2
  • Margaret L. Bauman
    • 3
  1. 1.Harvard Vanguard Medical AssociatesConcordUSA
  2. 2.Division of General Academic Pediatrics, Center for Child and Adolescent Health Research and PolicyMassachusetts General Hospital for ChildrenBostonUSA
  3. 3.Department of Anatomy and NeurobiologyBoston University School of MedicineBostonUSA
  4. 4.Department of Behavioral HealthAtrius HealthConcordUSA

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