Previous studies have reported that ASD children with more severe symptoms are diagnosed earlier. However, previous studies in community settings have mostly relied on retrospective parental reports without the use of quantitative standardized test scores. Here, we evaluated the association of language, cognitive, and ASD severity standardized scores with the age of diagnosis in 1-6-year-old children diagnosed in a public healthcare setting. The results revealed that language scores were the strongest variable associated with the age of diagnosis, explaining ~ 30% of the variability across children. Indeed, all children diagnosed before 30-months of age exhibited moderate-to-severe language delays. These results further substantiate the prominence of language delay as a highly visible symptom associated with earlier ASD diagnosis in community clinical settings.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The Azrieli National Centre for Autism and Neurodevelopment Research is funded by a grant from the Israeli Ministry of Science and Technology and the Azrieli Foundation.
© 2022, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature.
- Autism spectrum disorders
- Early diagnosis, delayed diagnosis
- Language delay
- Speech delay
- Symptom severity