Skip to main content
padlock icon - secure page this page is secure

Social and behavioural outcomes in children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders: a longitudinal cohort study

Buy Article:

$59.00 + tax (Refund Policy)

Objective:  To compare social and behavioural outcomes between children formally diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) with those of children who displayed autistic traits at preschool age, but remained undiagnosed as teenagers.

Method:  A secondary analysis of data from a birth cohort study, the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (N =13,944), in SW England. Children clinically diagnosed with ASD were identified from their medical records (n =71). A comparison group, who displayed autistic traits at age 3–4, but without ASD diagnosis were also identified (n =142). Social and behavioural outcomes in adolescence were compared between the two groups.

Results:  Children with ASD diagnoses were more impaired as teenagers that those in the comparison group on a range of measures of autistic‐like behaviour. The developmental trajectory of prosocial behaviour showed that differences between the case and comparison groups increased dramatically in the preschool and early primary years, but that after 6 years the trajectories were similar.

Conclusions:  The divergence of the clinically diagnosed group and the nondiagnosed group in measures of autistic‐like behaviour increased with age. This study provides evidence that it may be difficult to distinguish preschool age children who exhibit autistic‐like symptoms but improve, from those who go on to develop lifelong impairment.
No References
No Citations
No Supplementary Data
No Article Media
No Metrics

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: ESRC Centre for Genomics in Society, University of Exeter, Exeter, UK 2: Centre for Child and Adolescent Health, University of Bristol, Bristol, UK 3: Graduate School of Education, University of Exeter, Exeter, UK 4: Institute of Health Services Research, Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Exeter, Exeter, UK

Publication date: July 1, 2012

  • Access Key
  • Free content
  • Partial Free content
  • New content
  • Open access content
  • Partial Open access content
  • Subscribed content
  • Partial Subscribed content
  • Free trial content
Cookie Policy
Cookie Policy
Ingenta Connect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more