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School Age Outcomes of Children Diagnosed Early and Later with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Abstract

Early diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder is considered best practice, increasing access to early intervention. Yet, many children are diagnosed after 3-years. The current study investigated the school age outcomes of children who received an early and later diagnosis of ASD. The cognitive and behavioural outcomes of children diagnosed early (n = 48), were compared to children diagnosed after 3-years (n = 37). Children diagnosed early accessed more intervention, demonstrated better verbal and overall cognition at school age, were more likely to attend mainstream school and required less ongoing support than children diagnosed later. Behavioural differences were not found between groups. Earlier diagnosis is important and is likely to promote more positive outcomes at school age due to increased opportunity for EI.

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Acknowledgments

This research was not funded. Special acknowledgements to the families involved in the study and to the second, third and fourth authors for their guidance, support and contribution to this research project.

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Correspondence to Cheryl Dissanayake.

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All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. This article does not contain any studies with animals performed by any of the authors.

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All authors made a substantial contribution to conception and design, drafting and revising of the article prior for publication. Authors have been listed in order of their contribution.

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Clark, M.L.E., Vinen, Z., Barbaro, J. et al. School Age Outcomes of Children Diagnosed Early and Later with Autism Spectrum Disorder. J Autism Dev Disord 48, 92–102 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10803-017-3279-x

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Keywords

  • Early and later diagnosis
  • School age
  • Outcomes
  • Cognition
  • Behaviour