Autism pp 475-495 | Cite as

Follow-Up Studies

  • V. Lotter


Follow-up studies of autistic children have two general aims: (a) to describe what such individuals are like in later life (i.e., the course and outcome of the autistic condition), and (b) to identify factors which are associated with differences in course and outcome. An important secondary consequence of such investigations is the contribution they may make to classification. Since definitions of autism vary somewhat and the numbers of afflicted children are few, comparability among studies is at the same time both uncertain and especially necessary. This is particularly the case as a wide variety of terms have been applied to psychoses beginning in infancy or early childhood. Thus, in some centers the terms “childhood schizophrenia,” “child psychosis,” or “atypical child” have been used for disorders fulfilling the usually, accepted diagnostic criteria “autism.” On the other hand, these same terms have also been used for conditions which clearly are not autistic. Accordingly, an initial survey was made of all follow-up studies which referred to autistic, schizophrenic, or psychotic disorders beginning in early childhood in order to determine which could be taken to refer to autistic children.


Autistic Child Speech Rating Infantile Autism Bellevue Hospital Childhood Schizophrenia 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1978

Authors and Affiliations

  • V. Lotter
    • 1
  1. 1.University of GuelphGuelphCanada

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