Children's compliance with American Academy of Pediatrics' well-child care visit guidelines and the early detection of autism

J Autism Dev Disord. 2013 Dec;43(12):2844-54. doi: 10.1007/s10803-013-1831-x.


This study estimated compliance with American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) guidelines for well-child care and the association between compliance and age at diagnosis in a national sample of Medicaid-enrolled children with autism (N = 1,475). Mixed effects linear regression was used to assess the relationship between compliance and age at diagnosis. Mean age at diagnosis was 37.4 (SD 8.4) months, and mean compliance was 55 % (SD 33 %). Children whose care was compliant with AAP guidelines were diagnosed 1.6 months earlier than children who received no well-child care. Findings support that the timely receipt of well-child care may contribute to earlier detection. Additional research on the contribution of compliance, well-child visit components and provider characteristics on the timely diagnosis of autism is needed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Autistic Disorder / diagnosis*
  • Autistic Disorder / therapy*
  • Child
  • Child Care / standards*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Early Diagnosis
  • Female
  • Guideline Adherence*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Physical Examination
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic*
  • United States