Little is known about the outcomes of children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). The Pathways in ASD study, the largest of its kind in the world, investigates the different developmental pathways that children with ASD follow. By identifying predictors of good outcome that are potentially modifiable we hope to inform the development of effective intervention programs for the early and middle childhood years and so improve the long-term outcomes of children with ASD.
The current study, led by Dr. Peter Szatmari at the Offord Centre for Child Studies at McMaster University examines the developmental pathways of 423 children with ASD and tries to identify the variables that influence these pathways.
This is a multi-site study with data being collected in Halifax, Montreal, Hamilton, Edmonton and Vancouver. The children with ASD are followed from the point of diagnosis at 2-4 years of age through to 11 years of age and assessed using different tests and measures.
The main objectives of the Pathways in ASD study are:
- To describe the developmental pathways of children with ASD and of family well-being.
- To identify the inter-relationships among critical child and contextual variables associated with better outcomes.
- To obtain accurate baseline estimates of school achievement and adaptation so that we can begin charting trajectories of these outcomes into adolescence and beyond.
We expect that the results of this study will create a lasting legacy for all children with ASD and will strengthen Canada’s position in the forefront of ASD research internationally.