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Dev Neuropsychol. 2005;27(3):311-36.

Early regression in social communication in autism spectrum disorders: a CPEA Study.

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  • 1Autism & Communication Disorders Center, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor 48109-2054, USA.


In a multisite study of 351 children with autism spectrum disorders, 21 children with developmental delays, and 31 children with typical development, this study used caregiver interviews (i.e., the Autism Diagnostic Interview-Revised) at the time of entry into other research projects and follow-up telephone interviews designed for this project to describe the children's early acquisition and loss of social-communication milestones. Children who had used words spontaneously and meaningfully and then stopped talking were described by their caregivers as showing more gestures, greater participation in social games, and better receptive language before the loss and fewer of these skills after the loss than other children with autism spectrum disorders. A significant minority of children with autism without word loss showed a very similar pattern of loss of social-communication skills, a pattern not observed in the children with developmental delays or typical development.

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