Developmental regression in children with autism based on parental reports: A cross-sectional study from eastern India

  • Praveen Kumar Jakati
  • Subrata Naskar
  • Bidisha Saha
  • Supriyo Chaudhar
  • Raman Krishnan
  • Sara Shaikh Rahman


Background: The study attempts to investigate the prevalence and onset patterns of the phenomenon of regression in Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and explore its possible associations with socio-demographic factors, birth history and preceding medical and psychosocial events.

Methods: 88 children diagnosed to have ASD according to DSM-5 criteria, of ages 1-10, were evaluated. M-CHAT was used for initial screening of the subject, followed by the administration of validated tools such as Developmental Screening Test (DST) and Childhood Autism Rating Scale (CARS). Responses were tabulated and analyzed using SPSS version 22.

Results: 60.2% of the sample had a history of developmental regression as per parental reports; the regression involved loss of both language and social skills. However, there was no statistically significant difference between children with and without regression with respect to cognitive ability and severity of autism. It was observed that children may present with 4 different patterns of onset of Autism, more specifically: pure delay, developmental plateau, delay with regression and pure regression.

Conclusion: Prevalence of regression in our study was higher than existing literature. Mean age of regression was between 15-24 months preceded by medical or psychosocial event.

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