Development problems were common five years after positive screening for language disorders and, or, autism at 2.5 years of age

Carmela Miniscalco* (Corresponding Author), Elisabeth Fernell, Lucy Thompson, Eva Sandberg, Björn Kadesjö, Christopher Gillberg

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


This study identified whether children who had screened positive for either developmental language disorder (DLD ) or autism spectrum disorder (ASD ) at the age of 2.5 years had neurodevelopmental assessments five years later.
MethodsOur study cohort were 288 children born from 1 July 2008 to 20 June 2009 who screened positive for DLD and, or, ASD at 2.5 years. Of these, 237 children were referred to, and assessed, at the Paediatric Speech and Language Pathology clinic (n = 176) or the Child Neuropsychiatry Clinic (n = 61) at the Queen Silvia Children's Hospital, Gothenburg, Sweden. Clinical registers covering all relevant outpatient clinics were reviewed five years later with regard to established diagnoses.ResultsWhen the 237 were followed up five years later, 96 (40%) had established neurodevelopmental disorders or problems, often beyond DLD and ASD . Co‐existing problems were common in this cohort and multidisciplinary assessments were indicated. The other 60% did not appear in subsequent clinic records. It is likely that this 40% was a minimum rate and that more children will be referred for developmental problems later.ConclusionFive years after they had been screened positive for DLD and, or autism at 2.5 years, 40% of our cohort had remaining or other developmental problems.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1739-1749
Number of pages11
JournalActa Paediatrica
Issue number10
Early online date26 Apr 2018
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2018

Bibliographical note

The authors are grateful to all the CHCs, parents, andchildren who participated in the study.
Financial support was received from the Local Researchand Development Council of the V€astra G€otaland Region,Sweden, the Wilhelm and Martina Lundgren Foundation,The LifeWatch Award, Niclas€Oberg Foundation, the Perand Annmari Ahlqvist Foundation and the Birgit and StenA Olsson Foundation


  • Autism Spectrum Disorder/epidemiology
  • Development disorder
  • Developmental language disorder
  • Outcome
  • Screening


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