This longitudinal investigation examined the development of emotional and behavioral functioning in school-age children with autism. The Child Behavior Checklist was obtained at baseline and after an average interval of 28.5 months from 13 boys with autism and 14 age- and gender-matched controls between the ages of 7 and 12 years at baseline. Children with autism demonstrated clinically significant elevations in several domains including Social, Thought, and Attention Problems. Children with autism exhibited significant improvements over time in Total, Externalizing, Social, and Oppositional Defiant Problems and Aggressive Behavior, while there were no changes over time in the controls. These findings suggest that children with autism may demonstrate improvements over time in some clinical domains such as social and behavioral functioning.
Keywords: Aggressive; Child Behavior Checklist; Development; Externalizing; Oppositional defiant; Social.