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Brief Report: Self-Injurious Behaviors in Preschool Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder Compared to Other Developmental Delays and Disorders

Abstract

We compared the prevalence of self-injurious behaviors (SIB) in preschoolers aged 30–68 months with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) (n = 691) versus other developmental delays and disorders (DD) (n = 977) accounting for sociodemographic, cognitive, and medical factors. SIB prevalence was higher in ASD versus all DD [adjusted odds-ratio (aOR) 2.13 (95% confidence interval (95% CI) 1.53, 2.97)]. In subgroup analyses, SIB prevalence was higher in ASD versus DD without ASD symptoms [aOR 4.42 (95% CI 2.66, 7.33)], but was similar between ASD and DD with ASD symptoms [aOR 1.09 (95% CI 0.68, 1.77)]. We confirmed higher prevalence of SIB in ASD versus DD, independent of confounders. In children with DD, SIB prevalence increased with more ASD symptoms. These findings are informative to clinicians, researchers, and policymakers.

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Acknowledgments

We acknowledge CDC SEED project staff, SEED projects coordinators, clinicians, and SEED investigators at each site. We are also grateful to all SEED phase1 children and their families.

Author Contributions

GNS conceptualized the initial proposal, cleaned and analyzed the data, wrote the first draft of the manuscript. CD, SAR and CRR, provided feed-back on the initial proposal, contributed in the interpretation of the findings and in the writing of the different versions of the manuscript. LL and RAV contributed to the interpretation of the findings and the writing of the different versions of the manuscript.

Funding

Funding was provided by National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities (Grant Nos. RFAS: 01086, 02199, dd11-002, dd04-001, dd09-002).

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Correspondence to G. N. Soke.

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All authors do not have any conflict of interest to disclose.

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All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with ethical standards of the institutional and /or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

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All persons who participated in SEED provided written informed consent.

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The findings and conclusions in this report are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official position of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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Soke, G.N., Rosenberg, S.A., Rosenberg, C.R. et al. Brief Report: Self-Injurious Behaviors in Preschool Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder Compared to Other Developmental Delays and Disorders. J Autism Dev Disord 48, 2558–2566 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10803-018-3490-4

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Keywords

  • Self-injurious behaviors
  • Prevalence
  • Autism spectrum disorder
  • Autism
  • Developmental delays and disorders