Developmental Trajectories in Children With and Without Autism Spectrum Disorders: The First 3 Years

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Abstract

Retrospective studies indicate 2 major classes of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) onset: early and later, after a period of relatively healthy development. This prospective, longitudinal study examined social, language, and motor trajectories in 235 children with and without a sibling with autism, ages 6-36 months. Children were grouped as: ASD identified by 14 months, ASD identified after 14 months, and no ASD. Despite groups' initial similar developmental level at 6 months, ASD groups exhibited atypical trajectories thereafter. Impairment from 14 to 24 months was greater in the Early-ASD than the Later-ASD group, but comparable at 36 months. Developmental plateau and regression occurred in some children with ASD, regardless of timing of ASD diagnosis. Findings indicate a preclinical phase of varying duration for ASD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)429-442
Number of pages14
JournalChild development
Volume84
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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