The course of 187 individuals ages 3–21 years with Autistic Disorder was traced through a period of 20 years (enrollment: 1995–1998, follow up: 2014–2019). Specific genetic and environmental causes were identified in only a minority. Intellectual disability coexisted in 84%. Few became independent with 99% living at home with relatives, in disability group homes or in residential facilities. Seven individuals (3.7%) attained postsecondary education, two receiving baccalaureate degrees, two receiving associate degrees, and three receiving certificates from college disability programs. It may be anticipated that the long term outcome for individuals currently diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) will be substantially better than for individuals with Autistic Disorder in this cohort.
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It is with gratitude that the authors acknowledge the cooperation of the participants, parents, caretakers, and families who enrolled in the South Carolina Autism Project: A Search for Causes, the review of the manuscript by Lisa Lane and Susan Sachs of the Project Hope Foundation, and the support of the South Carolina Department of Disabilities and Special Needs.
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The authors declare they have no conflicts of interest.
The protocol and consent form for the SCAP was reviewed and approved by the IRB of Self Regional Healthcare and was exempted from review by the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control. This article does not contain any studies with animals performed by any of the authors. Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.
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Skinner, C., Pauly, R., Skinner, S.A. et al. Autistic Disorder: A 20 Year Chronicle. J Autism Dev Disord 51, 677–684 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10803-020-04568-3
- Autistic disorder
- Diagnostic and statistical manual
- Long term outcome