Age of Autism Spectrum Disorder diagnosis and associated factors

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Autism Spectrum Disorder, diagnosis, age, severity, parents


Introduction The mean age of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) diagnosis varies globally and the factors affecting it are inconsistent across populations and studies.

Aim Quantitative research was undertaken to investigate the age ASD was diagnosed and some possibly related factors, in a sample from Macedonia.

Methods A web-based survey was conducted among 103 parents of 103 individuals with ASD, from December 2021 to May 2022. Socio-demographic characteristics of parents/families and demographic and medical characteristics of individuals with ASD were reported through an anonymous questionnaire. Descriptive statistics and non-parametric inferential statistical tests were used to analyse data.

Results The median age of the ASD sample was 10 years and most individuals (47.57%) had moderately severe ASD. In 39.81% ASD was diagnosed by a psychiatrist/neuropsychiatrist, in 37.86% by several professionals, while paediatricians/developmental paediatricians were the source of diagnosis in only 2.91%. Over half of the individuals with ASD (51.46%) received the diagnosis before the age of 4, while around 17% received the diagnosis after the age of 6. The level of education of the parents, family living location, gender, current age and severity of ASD were not found to be associated with the age of diagnosis.

Conclusion Nearly 1/5 of the sample was diagnosed comparatively late ‒ at school age. However, characteristics pertaining to parents/families and to individuals with ASD, did not significantly affect the age of diagnosis. Possible influence of other, external factors (e.g., awareness and vigilance among professionals, availability of early screening programs) is acknowledged and will be included in further research.


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How to Cite

Stojanovska, I. (2023). Age of Autism Spectrum Disorder diagnosis and associated factors. Journal of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, 2(1), 1–13.



Autism Research

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