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Study finds that a subset of children often considered to have autism may be misdiagnosed
Date:9/17/2013

ory (CABIL), which Simon directs. Simon and Angkustsiri said that the parents of children with 22q deletion syndrome often had commented that their children "seemed different" from other children with autism diagnoses, but that they hadn't discovered a better diagnosis.

The clinical impression of the MIND Institute's 22q deletion syndrome team, which includes psychologists Ingrid Leckliter and Janice Enriquez, was that the children were experiencing significant social impairments, but their presentation diverged from that of children with autism. To determine whether the children met the criteria for classic autism, they decided to test a subset of the children recruited from participants in a larger study of neurocognitive functioning, based on stringent methods and using multiple testing instruments.

The researchers selected 29 children - 16 boys and 13 girls for additional scrutiny, administering two tests. The Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS), a gold-standard assessment for autism, was administered to the children. The Social Communication Questionnaire (SCQ), a 40-question parent screening tool for communication and social functioning based on the gold-standard Autism Diagnostic Interview-Revised, was administered to their parents.

Typically, a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder requires elevated scores on both a parent report measure, such as the SCQ, and a directly administered assessment such as the ADOS. Prior studies of autism in chromosome 22q11.2 deletion syndrome have only used parent report measures.

Only five of the 29 children had scores in the elevated range on the ADOS diagnostic tool. Four of the five had significant anxiety. Only two 7 percent had SCQ scores above the cut off. No child had both SCQ and ADOS scores in the relevant ranges that would lead to an ASD diagnosis.

"Over the years, a number of children came to us as part of the research or the clinical assessments that we p
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Contact: Phyllis Brown
phyllis.brown@ucdmc.ucdavis.edu
916-734-9023
University of California - Davis Health System
Source:Eurekalert

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