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A Longitudinal Study of Children Diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder Before Age Three: School Services at Three Points Time for Three Levels of Outcome Disability

Abstract

This study follows 70 children determined to have Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) before age three (Time 1). Parents filled out questionnaires and standardized measures about their child when he/she was school-aged (Time 2), including information about their children’s preschool, kindergarten, and grade school educational settings. At Time 2, the researchers placed children in three diagnostic groups of No ASD, ASD-Higher Functioning, and ASD-Lower Functioning. Retrospective results showed that most children were receiving intensive services at the preschool level. In kindergarten, there was some divergence among the three groups, with more intensive services continuing for the ASD groups. At school age, classroom placement and services reflected service patterns that were consistent with these three levels of disability.

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Funding

This research was supported in part through Grant No. T73MC29073 from the Health Resources and Services Administration. We are very grateful to the families who participated in the research study.

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Authors

Contributions

POT conceived of and designed the study, directed data collection, performed the statistical analysis, and drafted the manuscript. KVS collected data and participated in measurement and data analysis. AA and CR collected data and participated in manuscript writing. All authors reviewed the manuscript critically and approved the final version.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Patricia O. Towle.

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Towle, P.O., Vacanti-Shova, K., Higgins-D’Alessandro, A. et al. A Longitudinal Study of Children Diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder Before Age Three: School Services at Three Points Time for Three Levels of Outcome Disability. J Autism Dev Disord 48, 3747–3760 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10803-018-3606-x

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10803-018-3606-x

Keywords

  • ASD
  • Longitudinal
  • Educational placement
  • Educational services
  • Adaptive behavior