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Clinical Characteristics Associated with Language Regression for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders

Abstract We investigated correlates of language regression for children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Using archival data, children diagnosed with ASD (N = 114, M age = 41.4 months) were divided into four groups based on language development (i.e., regression, plateau, general delay, no delay) and compared on developmental, adaptive behavior, symptom severity, and behavioral adjustment variables. Few overall differences emerged between groups, including similar non-language developmental history, equal risk for seizure disorder, and comparable behavioral adjustment. Groups did not differ with respect to autism symptomatology as measured by the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule and Autism Diagnostic Interview-Revised. Language plateau was associated with better adaptive social skills as measured by the Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales. Implications and study limitations are discussed.

from the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders