Parental First Concerns and Timing of Autism Spectrum Disorder Diagnosis

Abstract

Specific developmental concerns can distinguish between an early versus later diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Caregiver survey responses of children ≥ 9 years-of-age (2012) with ASD were used to evaluate developmental concerns and associations with age of diagnosis [early (< 3 years: n = 106) vs. later (≥ 3 years: n = 432)] using logistic regression. Concerns arose at mean age 18 and 35-months for children diagnosed early versus later, respectively. Concerns about poor eye contact (aOR 1.81, CI 1.08, 3.05), pointing/gesturing (aOR 2.74, CI 1.60, 4.70), response to own name (aOR 3.03, CI 1.75, 5.23), and babbling/speaking (aOR 1.67, CI 0.98, 2.82) were associated with an early diagnosis. Caregivers and pediatricians are critical in early identification and timely entry into intervention.

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Acknowledgments

This project was funded by a grant from National Institute of Mental Health (Grant # 1U19MH092201).

Funding

This project was funded by a Grant from National Institute of Mental Health (Grant # 1U19MH092201).

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Authors

Contributions

TAB conceptualized and designed the study, carried out the analyses, drafted the initial manuscript, and approved the final manuscript as submitted. FLL provided content and critical feedback on the manuscript. Approved the final manuscript as submitted. AAO provided content and critical feedback on the manuscript. Approved the final manuscript as submitted. JS provided content and critical feedback on the manuscript. Approved the final manuscript as submitted. LAC contributed to the conceptualization of the study, critically reviewed and revised the manuscript, and approved the final manuscript as submitted.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Tracy A. Becerra-Culqui.

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None of the authors have financial relationships or any conflicts of interest relevant to this article to disclose.

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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. For this study analyses, formal consent was not required.

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Becerra-Culqui, T.A., Lynch, F.L., Owen-Smith, A.A. et al. Parental First Concerns and Timing of Autism Spectrum Disorder Diagnosis. J Autism Dev Disord 48, 3367–3376 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10803-018-3598-6

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Keywords

  • Autism spectrum disorder
  • Parent
  • Survey
  • Developmental concerns
  • Early diagnosis