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Characteristics of Children Who Lost an Autism Diagnosis: A Sample From Istanbul, Turkey

Saturday, 4 May 2013: 09:00-13:00
Banquet Hall (Kursaal Centre)
N. M. Mukaddes1 and D. Tutkunkardas2, (1)Istanbul University,Istanbul Faculty of Medicine, Istanbul, Turkey, (2)Istanbul University, Istanbul, Turkey
Background:  Although follow up studies on individuals with diagnosis of autism spectrum disorders show that the out come is not favorable in this group,scattered evidence suggests a loss of diagnosis in 3-25% of individuals with autism spectrum disorders.

Objectives:  The aim of this study is to describe a group of children who moved off the autism spectrum following intensive educational programming.

Methods:  The method is descriptive, reporting the characteristics of the children (n: 41) and explaining their educational programs. The data were collected by reviewing participants’ files. 

Results:  All the children had regular psychiatric follow-up. The mean age at referral was 2.35±0.75 years and mean age when diagnosis was lost  was 5.00±1.97. Thirty-nine of them received the diagnosis of Autistic Disorder and two received the diagnosis of PDD-NOS according to DSM-IV-TR. Four of them (n: 41) were in early intensive behavioral intervention (EIBI), and the rest were in a comprehensive-eclectic educational program mostly provided by parents under supervision of educators. The Childhood Autism Rating Scale (CARS) total score at baseline was 32.54±2.74 and at final evaluation was 17.93±1.77. Mean IQ at final examination was 113.78±19.36.

Conclusions:  It can be concluded that some children with ASD who received  early intervention can move off the autism spectrum. The young age at intake, potentially high IQ, relatively mild symptoms, and intensive early education program may be important factors contributing to this positive outcome.

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