A press release relating to an not-yet-published study looks at how children diagnosed with autism aged two are diagnosed when they are nine.
Of the 172 children who were examined at age 9 years, 58 percent had a best-estimate diagnosis of autism, an increase from the 49 percent diagnosed at age 2 years. Overall, 67 percent of the best-estimate diagnoses were the same at age 2 years and age 9 years. More specifically, 76 percent of those diagnosed with autism at age 2 received the same diagnosis at age 9, and 90 percent of those diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder at age 2 received a diagnosis of autism or an autism spectrum disorder at age 9. Parent interviews, observation scale scores and clinicians’ judgment at age 2 years each independently predicted a diagnosis of autism at age 9 years, with clinical judgment most strongly linked.