The present study aimed to identify the cumulative incidence of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in a thoroughly screened population and to examine the behavioral and motor characteristics observed in children with ASD at the age of 18 months. Subjects were 1067 children who underwent a screening assessment for ASD at the routine 18-months health checkup. By the age of 6 years, 3.1% (4.3% of boys and 2.0% of girls) were diagnosed as having ASD by their attending pediatricians. Higher rate of difficulties in motor skills and social and communication skills had been reported in children with ASD at 18 months of age. This study showed that careful community-based screening system may be helpful in detecting ASD at early age.
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The authors would like to thank all the members of our research group, especially Ms. Emi Hirabayashi, Ms. Hiromi Momose, Ms. Haruka Yamada, Ms. Naoko Takahashi, Ms. Miyuki Kuwata, Mr. Susumu Chino, Mr. Hiroyuki Yamaguchi, and Mr. Toshihiro Imai for support and guidance throughout the study.
This study was supported by Promotion Project of Education, Research, and Medical Care from Shinshu University Hospital (D.S.), Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research from the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare (H30-shintai-ippan-002), and a grant from Meiji Yasuda Mental Health Foundation (2015).
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional research committee (Ethics Committee of Shinshu University School of Medicine, reference numbers 3297, 3614, and 3905) and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.
The ethics review committee (Ethics Committee of Shinshu University School of Medicine) determined that informed consent was not required due to the nature of the study. Caregivers of the study subjects were informed of their option to opt out via our institutional website and posters posted in the city hall of Okaya-shi.
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Sasayama, D., Kudo, T., Kaneko, W. et al. Brief Report: Cumulative Incidence of Autism Spectrum Disorder Before School Entry in a Thoroughly Screened Population. J Autism Dev Disord (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10803-020-04619-9
- Autism spectrum disorder
- Mass screening