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J Autism Dev Disord. 2019 Nov;49(11):4390-4399. doi: 10.1007/s10803-019-04150-6.

Examining Trajectories of Daily Living Skills over the Preschool Years for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

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School of Rehabilitation Sciences, Faculty of Health Sciences, Institute of Applied Health Sciences, McMaster University, Room 436, 1400 Main St. W., Hamilton, ON, L8S 1C7, Canada.
Offord Centre for Child Studies, McMaster University, Hamilton, ON, Canada.
Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, The Hospital for Sick Children, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada.
Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada.
Department of Pediatrics, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada.
IWK Health Centre, Dalhousie University, Halifax, NS, Canada.
Faculty of Education, School of Psychology, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON, Canada.
Department of Psychiatry, McGill University, Montreal, QC, Canada.
Program of Child Health Evaluative Sciences, The Hospital for Sick Children Research Institute; Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada.
Children's Health Policy Centre, Faculty of Health Sciences, Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, BC, Canada.


Preschool children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) experience slower development of daily living skills (DLS) that are essential for independent functioning compared to typically developing children. Few studies have examined the trajectories of DLS in preschoolers with ASD and the existing literature has reported conflicting results. This study examined DLS trajectories and potential covariates for preschoolers with ASD from a multi-site longitudinal study following children from diagnosis to the end of grade 1. Multi-level modeling was conducted with DLS domain scores from the Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales-2. The results demonstrated a positive trajectory of increasing scores over time, associations of age of diagnosis, developmental level, stereotypy, and language skills with the mean score at T4 or age 6 years, whereas rate of change was only associated with ASD symptom severity, such that an improvement in DLS trajectory was associated with lower and improving ASD symptom severity.


Autism spectrum disorder; Daily living skills; Preschool; Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales


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