Specific developmental concerns can distinguish between an early versus later diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Caregiver survey responses of children ≥ 9 years-of-age (2012) with ASD were used to evaluate developmental concerns and associations with age of diagnosis [early (< 3 years: n = 106) vs. later (≥ 3 years: n = 432)] using logistic regression. Concerns arose at mean age 18 and 35-months for children diagnosed early versus later, respectively. Concerns about poor eye contact (aOR 1.81, CI 1.08, 3.05), pointing/gesturing (aOR 2.74, CI 1.60, 4.70), response to own name (aOR 3.03, CI 1.75, 5.23), and babbling/speaking (aOR 1.67, CI 0.98, 2.82) were associated with an early diagnosis. Caregivers and pediatricians are critical in early identification and timely entry into intervention.
Keywords: Autism spectrum disorder; Developmental concerns; Early diagnosis; Parent; Survey.