The Profile and IMPACT of ASD and Other Neurodevelopmental Disorders: Comparison and Predictors from India
Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and other neurodevelopmental disorders (NDD) impact families adversely. Published studies state that families of children with ASD report a higher impact than those with other NDD. There is a paucity of data evaluating these concepts in the Low Middle Income Countries (LMIC).
- To compare the profiles and impact on families of children with ASD and those with other NDD
- To understand the predictors for the impact on families of children with either disorder
All families who were welcomed to an inpatient residential facility attached to the Developmental Paediatrics Unit in a tertiary care centre in India for detailed assessment and interventions from January 2015 to September 2015 were included in the analysis. The child was diagnosed by a multidisciplinary team of paediatricians, psychologists and therapists. The ASD diagnosis was confirmed by DSM-V and Childhood Autism Rating Scale (CARS). The Revised Impact on Family questionnaire was administered to all families to assess the impact.
196 children, 114 NDD and 82 ASD were included in this study. The distribution of age and developmental delay were similar in both groups. The ASD group had significantly more proportion of males (p=.00). Mother’s education was higher for the ASD group than the NDD group (p=.05); both groups significantly better than the national average (p=.00). Professional occupation for fathers was reported significantly higher for the ASD group than the NDD group (p=.01); both groups significantly better than the national average (p=.00).
Both families of children with ASD and other NDD reported high impact on the family. There was no significant difference between the reported impact of ASD and NDD (37 and 37.75 respectively; p=.99). None of the usual factors including age, gender, associated developmental delay, mother’s education, father’s occupation and associated sleep problems predicted the impact on family. The severity of autism also did not predict the impact model for families of children with ASD.
Families who actively sought help for both ASD and NDD belonged to a better socio-economic class compared to the average Indian demographic profile. Both ASD and NDD have high impact on families. Further studies need to evaluate the care seeking pattern of families as well as alternate models for impact on family for developmental disorders including ASD in the Low and Middle Income countries.