ERIC Number: EJ722265
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005
Congenital versus Regressive Onset of Autism Spectrum Disorders: Parents' Beliefs about Causes
Goin-Kochel, Robin P.; Myers, Barbara J.
Focus on Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities, v20 n3 p169-179 Fall 2005
Recent studies have validated the phenomenon of autistic regression, but little is known about how regressive and congenital onsets of the disorder influence parents' thinking about autism and its etiology. Parents (N = 327) of children with autism spectrum disorders completed an online questionnaire about their children's development. Approximately half of the sample indicated that their children showed signs of autism from birth or shortly thereafter; the remaining half described their children as developing autism in the regressive fashion. Parents' beliefs about the causes of autism varied widely, but two of the most popularly cited explanations were "genetics" and "external mechanisms" (e.g., vaccinations, environmental toxins). When analyzed relative to type of autism onset, parents more often advocated genetics as the cause for autism when their children exhibited the congenital type and external mechanisms when their children presented with the regressive type.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A