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Our goal was to determine whether mothers of advanced maternal age (AMA) were more acutely aware of their child with autism spectrum disorder’s development and whether more experience with the health care system led to quicker autism diagnoses. We used data from the Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring Network or ADDM Network. The ADDM network is a biannual surveillance system that estimates the prevalence of autism in 8-year old children from sites across the US. We found that children of AMA mothers had their first evaluations between 1 and 5 months earlier than children of non-AMA mothers with statistically significantly different patterns in timing. However, once we adjusted for sociodemographic confounders, like maternal education and race, we saw no difference between the two groups. AMA is one sociodemographic factor associated with younger age of first evaluation noting developmental concerns in children with autism. Read the article.
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