Examining Trajectories of Daily Living Skills over the Preschool Years for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder
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Preschool children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) experience slower development of daily living skills (DLS) that are essential for independent functioning compared to typically developing children. Few studies have examined the trajectories of DLS in preschoolers with ASD and the existing literature has reported conflicting results. This study examined DLS trajectories and potential covariates for preschoolers with ASD from a multi-site longitudinal study following children from diagnosis to the end of grade 1. Multi-level modeling was conducted with DLS domain scores from the Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales-2. The results demonstrated a positive trajectory of increasing scores over time, associations of age of diagnosis, developmental level, stereotypy, and language skills with the mean score at T4 or age 6 years, whereas rate of change was only associated with ASD symptom severity, such that an improvement in DLS trajectory was associated with lower and improving ASD symptom severity.
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