Children with autism spectrum disorders and selective mutism
Authors Steffenburg H, Steffenburg S, Gillberg C, Billstedt E
Received 24 October 2017
Accepted for publication 22 December 2017
Published 7 May 2018 Volume 2018:14 Pages 1163—1169
Checked for plagiarism Yes
Review by Single-blind
Peer reviewers approved by Prof. Dr. Roumen Kirov
Peer reviewer comments 3
Editor who approved publication: Dr Roger Pinder
Hanna Steffenburg, Suzanne Steffenburg, Christopher Gillberg, Eva Billstedt
Gillberg Neuropsychiatry Centre, Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, University of Gothenburg, Sahlgrenska Academy, Gothenburg, Sweden
Background: It has been suggested that autism spectrum disorder (ASD) might be a “comorbid” condition in selective mutism (SM).
Methods: In this retrospective study, we examined medical records of children with SM diagnosis (n=97) at a medical center specializing in assessment of ASD.
Results: Mean age for onset of SM symptoms was 4.5 years and mean age at SM diagnosis was 8.8 years. SM was more common among girls (boy:girl ratio=2.7:1). We found that 63% of the study group had an ASD (no gender difference). The SM group with combined ASD had later onset of symptoms, higher age at diagnosis, more often a history of speech delay, and a higher proportion of borderline IQ or intellectual disability.
Conclusion: The results highlight the risk of overlap between ASD and SM.
Keywords: selective mutism, autism spectrum disorders, Asperger syndrome, autistic disorder
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