John Hopkins Bloomberg Logo The recent changes in the diagnosis of autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) has spurred various perspectives of professionals. In another separate study, scientists from the John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health have asserted that autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) may co-exist with other health complications.

As part of the study, data about 1366 children who participated in the National Survey of Children’s Health 2007, were analyzed. This information was attained after parents reported ASD diagnoses in these kids. Guardians were asked if their children currently suffered from ASDs or had been diagnosed previously.

There were almost 25%, 33% and 35% of kids who had an ASD diagnosis change, among young kids, children and young adults, correspondingly. The team found that children with present ASD diagnosis seemed to suffer from a minimum of 2 co-occurring conditions across all age-groups. This was apparently not the case with children who did not currently have diagnosis for the disorder.

The results showed that children aged 6 to 11 years seemingly suffered from anxiety and moderate to high learning disabilities, unlike those who presently did not have diagnosis. Also, among the youngest kids of the lot, those with current diagnosis of autism were more likely to suffer from developmental delay and learning disabilities. In the adolescent set, those with ASD apparently suffered from speech problems and seizures, as compared to those who did not have the diagnosis.

“Our study found that children with a current ASD are more likely to have co-occurring conditions compared to children who no longer have an ASD diagnosis,” commented Heather Close, the study’s lead author.

The scientists urged professionals to take note of the presence of other health problems in children currently regarded as autistic, based on the current guidelines. Also, parents have to get their children assessed for other conditions to ensure an optimum diagnosis of autism, the scientists concluded. In this way, the right medication can be suggested early on, they said.

The study titled, ‘Co-occurring Conditions and Change in Diagnosis in Autism Spectrum Disorders,’ will be published in the February edition of Pediatrics.