Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 47, Issue 12, pp 3983–3993 | Cite as

Typical Pubertal Timing in an Australian Population of Girls and Boys with Autism Spectrum Disorder

  • Tamara May
  • Ken C. Pang
  • Michele A. O’Connell
  • Katrina Williams
Original Paper


Secondary data analyses from the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children Kindergarten cohort were performed to understand any alterations in pubertal timing in Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in a population sample. Timing of parent-reported pubertal events (ages 8–9, 10–11, 12–13 years), and self-report (14–15 years; N = 3454 no ASD, N = 94 with ASD) included breast development, menses, skin changes, growth spurt, body hair, deepening voice and facial hair. Survival analyses and Cox regression controlling for covariates showed no evidence of altered pubertal onset amongst males with ASD. In contrast to some past studies, there was also no difference in pubertal timing in females with ASD. These exploratory findings suggest typical puberty timing in a population representative group of young people with ASD.


Autism Spectrum Disorder Puberty Adrenarche 



This article uses confidential unit record files from the LSAC survey. The LSAC was initiated and funded by the Commonwealth Department of Families, Housing, Community Services, and Indigenous Affairs and was managed by the Australian Institute of Family Studies. The findings and views reported in this article are those of the authors and should not be attributed to either the Commonwealth Department of Families, Housing, Community Services, and Indigenous Affairs, or the Australian Institute of Family Studies. We thank all the families participating in the LSAC study. We wish to thank the William Collie Trust, University of Melbourne, and the Lorenzo and Pamela Galli Charitable Trust, for their support of authors Dr May and Professor Williams, and the Melbourne Children’s Clinician Scientist Fellowship scheme for its support of Dr Pang.

Author Contributions

TM conceived of the secondary analysis and drafted the manuscript and performed the statistical analysis; KP, KW, and MO participated in the interpretation of the data and helped to draft the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors report no conflicts of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tamara May
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Ken C. Pang
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
    • 5
    • 6
  • Michele A. O’Connell
    • 3
    • 7
  • Katrina Williams
    • 2
    • 3
    • 8
  1. 1.School of PsychologyDeakin UniversityBurwoodAustralia
  2. 2.Department of PaediatricsUniversity of MelbourneParkvilleAustralia
  3. 3.Murdoch Childrens Research InstituteParkvilleAustralia
  4. 4.The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical ResearchParkvilleAustralia
  5. 5.Department of Adolescent MedicineRoyal Children’s HospitalParkvilleAustralia
  6. 6.Department of PsychiatryUniversity of MelbourneParkvilleAustralia
  7. 7.Department of Endocrinology & DiabetesRoyal Children’s HospitalParkvilleAustralia
  8. 8.Developmental Medicine Royal Children’s HospitalParkvilleAustralia

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