Autism Under Age 3 Years: A Clinical Study of 28 Cases Referred for Autistic Symptoms in Infancy


Requests for reprints to: Professor Christopher Gillberg, Department of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, Child Neuropsychiatry Centre, P.O. Box 17113, S-402 61 Göteborg, Sweden.


Abstract Twenty-eight children referred with a preliminary diagnosis of autistic disorder under age 3 yrs were extensively examined from the neuropsychiatric point of view and followed up for several months to several years. A diagnosis of autistic disorder was confirmed in 75% of the cases. A variety of associated medical conditions was identified. It was concluded that autism can be diagnosed in a substantial proportion of cases before age 3 yrs and that the neurobiological background is similar to that seen in older autistic children.