Development problems were common five years after positive screening for language disorders and, or, autism at 2.5 years of age

Miniscalco, Carmela; Fernell, Elisabeth; Thompson, Lucy; Sandberg, Eva; Kadesjö, Björn; Gillberg, Christopher
October 2018
Acta Paediatrica;Oct2018, Vol. 107 Issue 10, p1739
Academic Journal
journal article
Aim: This study identified whether children who had screened positive for either developmental language disorder (DLD) or autism spectrum disorder (ASD) at the age of 2.5 years had neurodevelopmental assessments five years later.Methods: Our study cohort were 288 children born from 1 July 2008 to 20 June 2009 who screened positive for DLD and, or, ASD at 2.5 years. Of these, 237 children were referred to, and assessed, at the Paediatric Speech and Language Pathology clinic (n = 176) or the Child Neuropsychiatry Clinic (n = 61) at the Queen Silvia Children's Hospital, Gothenburg, Sweden. Clinical registers covering all relevant outpatient clinics were reviewed five years later with regard to established diagnoses.Results: When the 237 were followed up five years later, 96 (40%) had established neurodevelopmental disorders or problems, often beyond DLD and ASD. Co-existing problems were common in this cohort and multidisciplinary assessments were indicated. The other 60% did not appear in subsequent clinic records. It is likely that this 40% was a minimum rate and that more children will be referred for developmental problems later.Conclusion: Five years after they had been screened positive for DLD and, or autism at 2.5 years, 40% of our cohort had remaining or other developmental problems.


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