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J Autism Dev Disord. 2012 Jul;42(7):1314-25. doi: 10.1007/s10803-011-1357-z.

Developmental trajectories of adaptive behaviors from early childhood to adolescence in a cohort of 152 children with autism spectrum disorders.

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Autism Resources Center, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Department, CHU Montpellier and Laboratory Epsylon, University of Montpellier, 39 Avenue Charles Flahaut, 34295 Montpellier cedex 05, France.


This study examines change in 152 children over an almost 10-year period (T1: 4.9 (± 1.3) years; T2: 8.1 (± 1.3) years; T3: 15(± 1.6) years) using a group-based, semi-parametric method in order to identify distinct developmental trajectories. Important deficits remain at adolescence in the adaptive abilities of children with Autism spectrum disorders, but changes in adaptive skills show two distinct growth rates. The univariate analysis reveals that low growth trajectories for both social and communication outcome are associated with the following characteristics at age 5: low cognitive and language skills, presence of epilepsy, and severity of autism. The multivariate analysis confirms that risk factors at age 5, were low language and severity of autism for both social and communication outcomes 10 years later, and that hours of early intervention was protective factor for communication.

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