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J Autism Dev Disord. 2017 Nov;47(11):3634-3645. doi: 10.1007/s10803-017-3280-4.

Homogeneous Subgroups of Young Children with Autism Improve Phenotypic Characterization in the Study to Explore Early Development.

Author information

1
National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities (NCBDDD), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 4770 Buford Highway MS E-86, Atlanta, GA, USA. lwiggins@cdc.gov.
2
National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities (NCBDDD), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 4770 Buford Highway MS E-86, Atlanta, GA, USA.
3
Center for Autism Research, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA, USA.
4
Emory Autism Resource Center, Emory University, Atlanta, GA, USA.
5
Department of Epidemiology, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD, USA.
6
Department of Epidemiology, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC, USA.
7
JFK Partners, University of Colorado-Anschutz Medical Campus, Aurora, CO, USA.
8
Center for Autism and Related Disorders, Kennedy Krieger Institute, Baltimore, MD, USA.
9
Carolina Institute for Developmental Disabilities, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC, USA.

Abstract

The objective of this study was to identify homogenous classes of young children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) to improve phenotypic characterization. Children were enrolled in the Study to Explore Early Development between 2 and 5 years of age. 707 children were classified with ASD after a comprehensive evaluation with strict diagnostic algorithms. Four classes of children with ASD were identified from latent class analysis: mild language delay with cognitive rigidity, mild language and motor delay with dysregulation, general developmental delay, and significant developmental delay with repetitive motor behaviors. We conclude that a four-class phenotypic model of children with ASD best describes our data and improves phenotypic characterization of young children with ASD. Implications for screening, diagnosis, and research are discussed.

KEYWORDS:

Autism; Autism spectrum disorder; Characterization; Phenotypes; Subgroups

PMID:
28879490
PMCID:
PMC5848505
DOI:
10.1007/s10803-017-3280-4
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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