Longitudinal Studies of Autism Spectrum Disorder: 2 to 22
University of Michigan
Basic & Clinical
As the number of preschool children identified with ASD increases each year, so too will the number of children with ASD moving into adolescence. This project aims to determine early predictors of adolescent outcome in ASD as measured in adaptive skills, quality of life, positive affect, behavior problems, and symptoms of anxiety and depression. The project will focus attention primarily on coping strategies employed by individuals and families and their impact on well-being and independence. The development of children with autism from ages 2 to 19 will be examined in two existing, well-described samples from an early diagnosis study initially funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Bridge funding will now allow Dr. Lord and colleagues to follow these families for yet another year as they seek additional NIH funding. This study will also add a more specific focus on psychiatric co-morbidity and mood disorders in youth with ASD, and their relationship to quality of life. What this means for people with autism: Knowledge of the link between the early development of adaptive skills and later well-being in adolescence will help guide and improve the treatments provided to young children with autism and their families.