Age of Diagnosis for Autism: Individual and Community Factors Across Ten Birth Cohorts

During the 1990s, the typical age of diagnosis for autism fell, from almost 6 years to 3 years of age. Although early diagnosis is widely viewed as essential to the most effective interventions and treatments, there is substantial variation in who is diagnosed early or later. In this paper, we explore the characteristics of children, families, and communities that are associated with diagnostic timing, and how these have changed between the 1992 and 2001 birth cohorts. We find that the most robust determinant of early diagnosis is parental education, and that although the gap between high and low SES children has diminished over the decade, it remains significant.

Read our paper: Fountain, C., King, M., & Bearman, P. (2011). Age of diagnosis for autism. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, Volume 65: 503-510

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