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Factors Affecting Age at ASD Diagnosis in UK: No Evidence that Diagnosis Age has Decreased Between 2004 and 2014

Lookup NU author(s): Denise Brett, Frances Warnell, Emerita Professor Helen McConachie, Professor Jeremy Parr



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


Clinical initiatives have aimed to reduce the age at ASD diagnosis in the UK. This study investigated whether the median age at diagnosis in childhood has reduced in recent years, and identified the factors associated with earlier diagnosis in the UK. Data on 2134 children with ASD came from two large family databases. Results showed that the age of ASD diagnosis has not decreased. The median age of diagnosis of all ASDs was 55 months. Factors associated with earlier age of diagnosis were autism diagnosis (compared with other ASD), language regression, language delay, lower socioeconomic status, and greater degree of support required. Effective clinical strategies are needed to identify children with characteristics that have in the past delayed ASD diagnosis.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Brett D, Warnell F, McConachie H, Parr JR

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

Year: 2016

Volume: 46

Issue: 6

Pages: 1974-1984

Print publication date: 01/06/2016

Online publication date: 31/03/2016

Acceptance date: 01/01/1900

Date deposited: 26/07/2016

ISSN (print): 0162-3257

ISSN (electronic): 1573-3432

Publisher: Springer


DOI: 10.1007/s10803-016-2716-6


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