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Distinct developmental patterns identified in children with autism during their first 3 years
Date:10/30/2012

examined at 6, 14, 18, 24, 30 and 36 months of age. Confirmation of ASD classification was made at the 30 or 36 month visit for all participants because diagnosis at this age is considered definitive. At each visit, researchers evaluated the infants for motor, language, communication, social-affective and symbolic abilities, as well as typical symptoms of ASD.

Based on gold standard ASD assessments, infants were divided into three groups: Early-ASD, Later-ASD and Non-ASD. Both ASD groups (54 infants total) were confirmed to have ASD at 36 months; however the Early-ASD group (28 infants) received a clinical judgment of ASD symptomology at 14 months, whereas the Later-ASD group (26 infants) did not. The Non-ASD group (181 infants) did not meet outcome criteria for ASD.

Developmental Patterns

Early-ASD versus Later-ASD

  • By 14 months, the Early-ASD group exhibited significantly lower expressive language and shared social smiling scores than the Later-ASD group.
  • By 18 months, the Early-ASD group exhibited greater delays in receptive and expressive language development compared to the Later-ASD group.
  • At 24 months, this gap between the Early- and Later-ASD groups had closed due to increasing impairment in the later-ASD group.
  • At 30 and 36 months, there were no detectable differences between the Early- and Later-ASD groups.

Early-ASD versus Non-ASD groups

  • At 6 months, the Early-ASD and Non-ASD groups exhibited comparable development.
  • At 14 months, the Early-ASD group diverged from Non-ASD development in all measured aspects of development, except for fine motor functioning.
  • These differences were sustained through 36 months.

Later-ASD versus Non-ASD groups

  • At 6 months, the Later-ASD and Non-ASD groups exhibited comparable development.
  • At 14 months, the Later-ASD group's scores were significantly lower than the Non-ASD group's fo
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Contact: Cynthia Chen
cchen@spectrumscience.com
909-762-6962
Kennedy Krieger Institute
Source:Eurekalert

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