A new study, published by the Kennedy Krieger Institute, unearths the complications a child can run into depending on when and how they are diagnosed with autism.
According to the study, the child’s educational and developmental outcomes can be traced back to when the initial symptoms arrived. Currently, the persons behind the study claim that this is the largest of its kind to have examined regression within autism.
The study revealed that children who show autism symptoms early are at less of a risk for poor outcomes later in life. It is children who don’t show warning signs at an early age and then later regress that are at the greatest risk for poor educational and developmental outcomes. Also at greater risk are those who do not regress, but rather “plateau.”
The research for the study was from data collected from 2,720 parents. Parents were required to answer questionnaires and utilize rating scales. The researchers then compared the data amongst populations of children who regressed, those who plateaued, and those who were diagnosed early. The fields examined were early achievements, where the child fell on the autism spectrum, and the educational support that the child requires while being schooled.
Those children who regress have the greatest possibility of their symptoms worsening, needing the largest support team at school, and not reaching a level of basic conversational speech.
“Children who plateau or regress have a later manifestation of autism, but when it manifests it devastates their development,” said Dr. Paul Law (Director of the Interactive Autism Network at Kennedy Krieger).
Parents of children who might be questioning if their child is showing symptoms of autism should not hesitate in reaching out to a professional.