Factors affecting age at initial autism spectrum disorder diagnosis in a national survey

Autism Res Treat. 2011:2011:874619. doi: 10.1155/2011/874619. Epub 2011 Jul 25.


Entry into early intervention depends on both age of first parent concern (AOC) and age at initial autism spectrum disorder (ASD) diagnosis (AOD). Using data collected from a national online registry from 6214 children diagnosed with an ASD between 1994 and 2010 in the US, we analyzed the effect of individual, family, and geographic covariates on AOC and AOD in a multivariate linear regression model with random effects. Overall, no single modifiable factor associated with AOC or AOD emerged but cumulative variation in certain individual- and family-based features, as well as some geographic factors, all contribute to AOC and AOD variation. A multipronged strategy is needed for targeted education and awareness campaigns to maximize outcomes and decrease disparities in ASD care.