Recognition of early warning signs and symptoms by caregivers, general practitioners and paediatricians – the first steps on the road to Autism Spectrum Disorder diagnosis

Authors

Abstract

Objective. To identify developmental symptoms reported at firsts doctor visits by parents of children later diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Design. Cohort study. Setting. The study was conducted in the Department of Psychiatry Research of “Prof. Dr. Alexandru Obregia” Clinical Psychiatry Hospital from Bucharest between September 2019 and May 2021. Patients. 105 cases: 82 boys and 23 girls, 100 children with autism, and 5 patients with Asperger’s syndrome.
Intervention. ASD was diagnosed according to the DSM-5 criteria, ADOS-1 (Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule, 1st Edition) and/or ADI-R (Autism Diagnostic Interview-Revised) tests scores; features reported by the parents for which they presented to the doctor for a diagnosis were taken into consideration. Main outcome measures. The age at first presentation to the doctor; the most common early signs reported by the parents of children with ASD.
Results. The age at first presentation to the doctor in our group was between 9 months and 14 years. The most common early signs reported by parents were: delayed language development, deficits in understanding verbal instructions/indications, and hyperactivity and aggressivity. In the case of patients with Asperger’s syndrome, the reported features were hyperactivity and aggressivity, learning difficulties, and social interaction problems. Regression and delay in language development occurred more often in boys than in girls.
Conclusions. Parents, as well as family doctors or paediatricians, should pay great attention to the children’s behaviour, alongside their cognitive and language development. Early detection is essential for early intervention and our results can be used to develop training programs for parents and paediatricians for early recognition of ASD.

Share on

Downloads

Authors

Magdalena Budisteanu - “Victor Babes” National Institute of Pathology, Bucharest, Romania; “Prof. Dr. Alex. Obregia” Clinical Psychiatry Hospital, Bucharest, Romania; Titu Maiorescu University”, Faculty of Medicine, Bucharest, Romania

Florentina Linca - “Prof. Dr. Alex. Obregia” Clinical Psychiatry Hospital, Bucharest, Romania

Lucia Emanuela Andrei - "Carol Davila" University of Medicine and Pharmacy

Laura Mateescu - “Prof. Dr. Alex. Obregia” Clinical Psychiatry Hospital, Bucharest, Romania ; “Carol Davila University of Medicine and Pharmacy”, Faculty of Medicine, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Department, Bucharest, Romania

Adelina Glangher - “Prof. Dr. Alex. Obregia” Clinical Psychiatry Hospital, Bucharest, Romania

Doina Ioana - “Prof. Dr. Alex. Obregia” Clinical Psychiatry Hospital, Bucharest, Romania

Emilia Severin - Carol Davila University of Medicine and Pharmacy”, Bucharest, Romania

Sorin Riga - “Prof. Dr. Alex. Obregia” Clinical Psychiatry Hospital, Bucharest, Romania

Florina Rad - “Prof. Dr. Alex. Obregia” Clinical Psychiatry Hospital, Bucharest, Romania; “Carol Davila University of Medicine and Pharmacy”, Faculty of Medicine, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Department, Bucharest, Romania

How to Cite
Budisteanu, M., Linca, F., Andrei, L. E., Mateescu, L., Glangher, A., Ioana, D., Severin, E., Riga, S., & Rad, F. (2022). Recognition of early warning signs and symptoms by caregivers, general practitioners and paediatricians – the first steps on the road to Autism Spectrum Disorder diagnosis. Annali dell’Istituto Superiore Di Sanità, 58(3), 183-191. Retrieved from https://annali.iss.it/index.php/anna/article/view/1464
  • Abstract viewed - 29 times