Neuropsychiatric and neurodevelopmental outcome of children at age 6 and 7 years who screened positive for language problems at 30 months
Article first published online: 2 MAR 2007
Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology
Volume 48, Issue 5, pages 361–366, May 2006
How to Cite
Miniscalco, C., Nygren, G., Hagberg, B., Kadesjö, B. and Gillberg, C. (2006), Neuropsychiatric and neurodevelopmental outcome of children at age 6 and 7 years who screened positive for language problems at 30 months. Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology, 48: 361–366. doi: 10.1017/S0012162206000788
- Issue published online: 2 MAR 2007
- Article first published online: 2 MAR 2007
- Accepted for publication 25thJuly 2005.
We present a prospective study at school age of neuropsychiatric and neurodevelopmental outcome of language delay suspected at child health screening around 30 months of age. In a community sample, 25 children (21 males, 4 females) screening positive and 80 children (38 males, 42 females) screening negative for speech and language problems at age 30 months were examined in detail for language disorders at age 6 years. The screen-positive children were then followed for another year and underwent in-depth neuropsychiatric examination by assessors blind to the results of previous testing. Detailed follow-up results at age 7 years were available for 21 children. Thirteen of these 21 children (62%) had a major neuropsychiatric diagnosis (autism, atypical autism, Asperger's syndrome, attention-deficit-hyperactivity disorder [ADHD]), or combinations of these. Two further children (10%) had borderline IQ with no other major diagnosis. We conclude that children in the general population who screen positive for speech and language problems before age 3 years appear to be at very high risk of autism spectrum disorders or ADHD, or both, at 7 years of age. Remaining language problems at age 6 years strongly predict the presence of neuropsychiatric or neurodevelopmental disorders at age 7 years.