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Autism With and Without Regression: A Two-Year Prospective Longitudinal Study in Two Population-Derived Swedish Cohorts.

Journal article
Authors Lucy Thompson
Christopher Gillberg
Sara Landberg
Anne-Katrin Kantzer
Carmela Miniscalco
Martina Barnevik Olsson
Mats Eriksson
Elisabeth Fernell
Published in Journal of autism and developmental disorders
Volume 49
Issue 6
Pages 2281-2290
ISSN 1573-3432
Publication year 2019
Published at Gillberg Neuropsychiatry Centre
Pages 2281-2290
Language en
Keywords ASD; Autism; Developmental language disorder; Intellectual developmental disorder; Non-regressive autism; Regressive autism
Subject categories Clinical Medicine


Two community-based cohorts of children with autism spectrum disorder, examined using similar assessment protocols, were pooled (n = 301) and subdivided according to history of regression. Those with regression (n = 62), 20.5% of the combined cohort, were contrasted with those without regression (n = 241) at first assessment (age range 19-60 months) and at 2-year follow-up on a range of measures. The regression group was significantly more functionally impaired, with regard to intellectual function (p < .001), language development (p < .001), and to severity of autism (p < .01) at both T1 and T2. Only 14 (23.3%) had a clearly identified underlying etiology [24 (18.6%) in the non-regressive group]. There were no significant differences between those who had regressed 'from normal' and those who had regressed 'from low' functioning.

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