Academic journal article International Journal of Child Health and Human Development

Familial Factors and Child's Symptomatology Affecting the Age of Diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder

Academic journal article International Journal of Child Health and Human Development

Familial Factors and Child's Symptomatology Affecting the Age of Diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder

Article excerpt

Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) represent a heterogeneous group of disorders with great variability in the clinical presentation. Early identification of ASD leads to earlier treatment, which is associated with improved developmental outcome.

Objectives: The goal of this research was to identify family and child's related characteristics that might delay diagnosis of ASD. Regarding parental factors, we focused on the correlation between parental experience (having an older child with and without ASD), parental age and parental education and the age of the ASD diagnosis. We also examined the relation between the severity of autism symptoms and the age of diagnosis.

Methods: The study was conducted at the Autism Center, a national tertiary center for diagnosis, treatment and research in the field of ASD. The cohort included 582 participants, 74 females and 508 males (F:M 1:6.9), aged 15 to 72 months (M=30.9m, SD=12.3m) at the time of diagnosis, all of whom received a diagnosis within the autistic spectrum. Results: Regarding parental experience, a significantly higher rate of non-first-born children (p<0.05) and a significantly higher rate of children with older sibling with ASD (p<0.05) was found among children diagnosed earlier (<30 months) with ASD comparing to children diagnosed later (>30 months). No significant correlation was found between the child's gender, or paternal and/or maternal age or education and the age of diagnosis of ASD. …

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