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Autism Research and Treatment
Volume 2011 (2011), Article ID 874619, 11 pages
Research Article

Factors Affecting Age at Initial Autism Spectrum Disorder Diagnosis in a National Survey

1Department of Medical Informatics, Kennedy Krieger Institute, Baltimore, MD 21211, USA
2Center for Autism and Related Disorders, Kennedy Krieger Institute, Baltimore, MD 21211, USA
3Department of Psychiatry, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA
4Department of Pediatrics, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA
5Department of Mental Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA

Received 6 January 2011; Revised 12 April 2011; Accepted 19 May 2011

Academic Editor: Gregory S. Liptak

Copyright © 2011 Rebecca E. Rosenberg et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Entry into early intervention depends on both age of first parent concern (AOC) and age at initial autism spectrum disorder (ASD) diagnosis (AOD). Using data collected from a national online registry from 6214 children diagnosed with an ASD between 1994 and 2010 in the US, we analyzed the effect of individual, family, and geographic covariates on AOC and AOD in a multivariate linear regression model with random effects. Overall, no single modifiable factor associated with AOC or AOD emerged but cumulative variation in certain individual- and family-based features, as well as some geographic factors, all contribute to AOC and AOD variation. A multipronged strategy is needed for targeted education and awareness campaigns to maximize outcomes and decrease disparities in ASD care.