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J Autism Dev Disord. 2005 Jun;35(3):351-60.

Autism after adolescence: population-based 13- to 22-year follow-up study of 120 individuals with autism diagnosed in childhood.

Author information

  • 1Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Queen Silvia's Hospital for Children and Adolescents, Göteborg, Sweden. eva.billstedt@pediat.gu.se

Erratum in

  • J Autism Dev Disord. 2007 Oct;37(9):1822. Gillberg, Carina [corrected to Gillberg, I Carina].

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Prospective population-based follow-up study of 120 individuals with autism followed from childhood to adulthood.

METHODS:

Individuals with autism, diagnosed in childhood, were followed prospectively for a period of 13-22 years and re-evaluated at ages 17-40 years. The instruments used at follow-up were the DISCO, WAIS-R, WISC-III, Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales, psychiatric-medical examination and GAF-scale. A set of criteria was used for the classification of outcomes, taking into consideration employment, higher education/vocational training, independent living and peer relations.

RESULTS:

Six of the 120 (5%) had died at the time of follow-up, and six declined participation. Overall outcome was poor in 78% of cases. Only four individuals were independent albeit leading fairly isolated lives. Childhood IQ-level was positively correlated with better adult outcome, as was the existence of some communicative phrase speech at age six years.

CONCLUSIONS:

Children with autism as diagnosed in the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s may have an even worse psychosocial outcome than previously believed.

PMID:
16119476
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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