Key Findings: Autism Symptoms Among Children Enrolled in the Study to Explore Early Development

The Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders has published a new analysis looking at autism spectrum disorder (ASD) symptoms among young children enrolled in CDC’s Study to Explore Early Development (SEED). Researchers assessed children with ASD, children with other developmental delays, such as language delays and physical delays, and children from the general population. Children with ASD had more problems with early learning, challenging behaviors, and interacting with others than children classified as having other developmental delays. However, some children with other developmental delays had ASD symptoms that posed significant challenges, even though the child did not meet the full criteria needed to be classified as having ASD. These results support the idea that ASD symptoms are found in children both with and without ASD and highlight the many needs of these children and their families. Because the study enrolled children with varying degrees of ASD symptoms, SEED researchers will be able to explore what puts children at risk for ASD and the different ways children may develop ASD.

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