Navigation Links
How, When Child Develops Autism May Determine Outcomes
Date:4/23/2010

Those whose communication skills regressed tended to have more severe cases, study finds

FRIDAY, April 23 (HealthDay News) -- Children with autism whose social and communications skills regress around age 3 tend to have more severe autism than children who show signs of the neurodevelopmental disorder at younger ages, new research finds.

Autism spectrum disorders are marked by delays or disruptions in social, language and communications skills, and restricted or repetitive behaviors or interests. Increasingly, doctors are coming to understand that there are several subtypes of the disorder, explained senior study author Dr. Paul Law, director of the Interactive Autism Network at Kennedy Krieger Institute in Baltimore.

In the study, researchers used data from 2,720 parents of children aged 3 to 17 years who had been diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder. Children were placed in one of three groups, depending on how and when their autism symptoms started:

  • Regressive, in which children seemed to be developing generally normally or close to normally, but then experienced a sharp decline in skills before age 3. About 44 percent of the children were in this group.
  • Plateau, or the 17 percent of children who were not delayed or only mildly delayed until about age 2, at which point they gradually or abruptly stop developing.
  • No loss/no plateau, sometimes called early onset autism, in which subtle signs of autism show up at relatively younger ages, but children don't regress or plateau. About 39 percent of the children fell into this category.

The researchers found some notable differences between the groups. In children who regressed or plateaued, parents said they first became concerned about their child's development at about 17 months, compared to about 15 months for children who did not plateau or regress.

Children who regressed said their first word at about 14 months, compared to 20 months for children who plateaued and 21 months for those with no loss/no plateau autism.

Another difference: Children who regressed took longer to potty train -- about 52 months, compared to about 48 months for other children with autism.

Over time, children who regressed tended to end up with more severe autism. They were at the greatest risk for not attaining conversational speech, and were more likely than the other groups to need educational support, such as a classroom aide. The more marked the regression, the more severe the autism later on, according to the study.

Autism with regression is much debated among researchers, with some estimates putting the prevalence at one-third to one-half of children with the disorder, with others saying as few as 15 percent of children experience regression.

Study author Luther Kalb, a researcher at the Center for Autism and Related Disorders at the Kennedy Krieger Institute, said some of the discrepancy may be definitions of regression -- some consider autism regression to be only children who had no symptoms of autism prior to the decline in previously acquired skills, while others allow for some delays prior to losing skills.

In the study, about 35 percent of parents had concerns about their child's development before their child began losing skills.

The study was published online April 20 in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders.

"There are still discussions within the science community about how exactly to define regression," added Andy Shih, vice president of scientific affairs for Autism Speaks. "This study certainly adds to the body of evidence that suggests there is a differentiation between different types of autism development progression and outcomes for the individual."

Parents whose child has experienced regression should take heart, Law said, and remember that the statistics show trends, not how an individual child will do. "A lot of children with regression did well," Law said. "There is a lot of individual variation. This is by no means a very dire sentence."

Among the first signs of autism typically noticed by parents are lack of eye contact or social smiles, speech delays, restricted interests, hand waving or flapping, or generally not engaging with others in the ways other children do, Kalb said.

If parents notice any losses in a child's vocabulary or social skills, or the child seems to have stopped progressing, they should have the child evaluated by a pediatrician right away, all of the experts stressed.

"What we do know is that the earlier we identify children who may be at risk for autism and provide early intervention, the better the prognosis and the more likely you are to have better outcomes," Shih said.

More information

Visit the Interactive Autism Network for more on autism.



SOURCES: Luther Kalb, MPH, researcher, Center for Autism and Related Disorders, Kennedy Krieger Institute, Baltimore; Paul Law, M.D., director, Interactive Autism Network, Kennedy Krieger Institute, Baltimore; Andy Shih, Ph.D., vice president, scientific affairs, Autism Speaks, New York City; April 20, 2010, Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, online


'/>"/>
Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Nutrition researchers to develop new growth charts for children with Down syndrome
2. Infant Swimming Resource & Safe Start USA Have Taught More Than 50,000 Children Self-Rescue™ Swimming Lessons in Orlando
3. Sanford Health Announces Sanford Children's Clinic in California and Partnership with Rady Children's Hospital-San Diego
4. Childrens cognitive ability can be affected by mothers exposure to urban air pollutants
5. Airway Obstructions Have High Death Rate for Young Children, According to New Research from Children's National Medical Center
6. Study cautions: Psychotropic medications overprescribed to children
7. Airway obstructions have high death rate for young children
8. Language dysfunction in children may be due to epileptic brain activity
9. Study finds treatment-resistant ringworm prevalent among children in metro elementary schools
10. Day care dilemma: When sick children are unnecessarily sent home
11. Texas Childrens Cancer Center first in Texas to magnetically lengthen 9-year-olds leg as she grows
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:12/9/2016)... ... December 09, 2016 , ... ... offices in Pasco and Richland, is initiating a charity drive to support the ... from a recent automobile collision. , On October 29th of this year, ...
(Date:12/9/2016)... ... December 09, 2016 , ... The Justin Veatch Fund ... (NCADD) is recommending the film Whispering Spirits and its discussion guide for ... as an education tool in the war against teen drug abuse. NCADD is ...
(Date:12/9/2016)... ... December 09, 2016 , ... The ... Hotel in New York, NY, on December 3rd, to benefit Holy Name Medical ... the annual event, which raised over $1 million - the largest event in ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... ... December 08, 2016 , ... ... Quality Insights beginning January 1, 2017. The name change aligns the entire ... measuring and improving health care quality. , “We are very proud of the ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... ... December 08, 2016 , ... ZyDoc , ... Processing–Enabled and Conventional Data Capture Methods for Input to Electronic Health Records: A ... Results of the comparative usability study demonstrate that a dictation-based method (“NLP Entry”) ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:12/8/2016)... 2016 KEY FINDINGS ... Patient warming and cooling ... during surgeries, lowering the risks of neurological disorders post cardiac ... The patient warming systems can be segmented into convective warming ... turn reduce the stay at hospitals thus, lowering the healthcare ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... -- KEY FINDINGS North America ... in 2016 and is expected to continue in the ... large number of surgical procedures that are taking place ... the patient temperature management market.) Patient warming and cooling ... blood during surgeries, lowering the risks of neurological disorders ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... DUBLIN , Dec 8, 2016 Research and Markets ... Report" report to their offering. ... This report analyzes the worldwide markets for ... US, Canada , Japan , ... , and Rest of World. Annual estimates and forecasts are provided ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: