This study examined the trajectories of autistic symptom severity in an inception cohort of 187 children with ASD assessed across four time points from diagnosis to age 10. Trajectory groups were derived using multivariate cluster analysis. A two trajectory/cluster solution was selected. Change in trajectory slopes revealed a turning point marked by plateauing in symptom reduction during the period of transition to school (age 6) for one of the two trajectories. Trajectories were labelled: Continuously Improving (27%) and Improving then Plateauing (73% of sample). Children in the two trajectories differed in levels of symptom severity, language, cognitive, and adaptive functioning skills. Study findings can inform the development of more personalized services for children with ASD transitioning into the school system.
- Autism spectrum disorder
- Turning points