To investigate factors that might hamper early identification of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), the present study examined differences between comorbid conditions and adaptive functions measured by the BASC-2 PRS in an epidemiologically ascertained group of children with ASD (Clinical and Non-clinical ASD groups), those who were screened positive but confirmed not to have ASD (No-ASD), and a group of typical, community children (N = 5222). Results indicate that the Clinical ASD group scored lower on the Externalizing Problems composite, Aggression, and Conduct Problems scales than did the No-ASD group whereas the Non-clinical ASD group did not differ from the other two groups except on the Conduct Problem scale. Further, the Clinical ASD group significantly scored lower than the other two groups the Adaptive Skills composite. The scores of the Clinical ASD group on the Social Skills and Leadership scales were lower than those in the No-ASD group, but not those in the Non-clinical ASD group. Results suggest that the frequent comorbid behavioral problems and higher adaptive skills of children in a non-clinical population, compared to a clinical population could mask their core ASD symptoms, resulting in a delay for caretakers to seek appropriate services for these children.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
We are grateful to all of the schools and families participated in the study. This research was funded by an Autism Speaks Pilot Research Grant, a Brain Research Foundation Research Grant, Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative Pilot Grant ( 137032 M134793 ), NIMH Career Awards ( K01MH079317 ) and NIEHS R01 Award ( R01 ES021462 ).
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Clinical Psychology
- Psychiatry and Mental health