Do autistic symptoms persist across time? Evidence of substantial change in symptomatology over a 3-year period in cognitively able children with Autism

Elizabeth Pellicano*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

25 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This study investigated the extent and nature of changes in symptomatology in cognitively able children with autism over a 3-year period. Thirty-seven children diagnosed with an autism spectrum condition involved in an earlier study (M age 5 5 years, 7 months) were followed and reassessed 3 years later (M age 5 8 years, 4 months). Scores on the Social Communication Questionnaire (SCQ; M. Rutter, A. Bailey, & C. Lord, 2003) decreased significantly over time in all symptom domains but especially in the social domain, and correlational findings suggested the presence of 2 distinct developmental trajectories- social communication and repetitive behaviors-that interact across time. Furthermore, 7 children (19% of sample) made substantial changes to the extent that they failed to meet criteria on diagnostic instruments (the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule-Generic [ADOS-G; C. Lord, M. Rutter, P. C. DiLavore, & S. Risi, 1999] and the SCQ) 3 years later. Children showing diagnostic discontinuity were distinguishable from those who fulfilled ADOS-G criteria only in terms of the age at which they began receiving intervention. The presence of a significant proportion of children showing considerable progress over the 3-year period challenges assumptions of diagnostic continuity and highlights the potential long-term benefits of early intervention.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)156-166
Number of pages11
JournalAmerican Journal on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
Volume117
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2012
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • autism
  • longitudinal
  • symptoms
  • outcome
  • development

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Do autistic symptoms persist across time? Evidence of substantial change in symptomatology over a 3-year period in cognitively able children with Autism'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this