The onset of autism: patterns of symptom emergence in the first years of life
Article first published online: 30 DEC 2008
Copyright © 2008, International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Volume 1, Issue 6, pages 320–328, December 2008
How to Cite
Ozonoff, S., Heung, K., Byrd, R., Hansen, R. and Hertz-Picciotto, I. (2008), The onset of autism: patterns of symptom emergence in the first years of life. Autism Res, 1: 320–328. doi: 10.1002/aur.53
- Issue published online: 30 DEC 2008
- Article first published online: 30 DEC 2008
- Manuscript Accepted: 24 NOV 2008
- Manuscript Received: 10 OCT 2008
- National Institute of Mental Health. Grant Number: R01 MH068398
- National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. Grant Number: R01 ES015359
- early identification
Previous conceptualizations of autism have suggested that symptoms are evident either early in the first year of life or later in the second year, after a loss of previously acquired skills. New research suggests, however, that these two patterns do not capture all the different ways autism can emerge. For example, some children show a developmental plateau marked by failure to progress, while other children display mixed features, with both early delays and later losses evident. This article reviews the literature on autism onset, discusses problems with the traditional ways in which onset has been conceptualized, and provides recommendations for future research. We suggest that onset is better thought of as a dimensional process rather than dichotomous categories.