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Quasi-autistic Patterns Following Severe Early Global Privation

  • Michael Rutter (a1), Lucie Andersen-Wood (a1), Celia Beckett (a1), Diana Bredenkamp (a1), Jenny Castle (a1), Christine Groothues (a1), Jana Kreppner (a1), Lisa Keaveney (a1), Catherine Lord (a1) and Thomas G. O'Connor (a1)...
    • Published online: 01 May 1999

Six per cent of child in a sample of 111 children who were adopted into U.K. families from Romania, and who were systematically assessed at the ages of 4 and 6 years, showed autistic-like patterns of behaviour. A further 6% showed milder (usually isolated) autistic features. Such autistic characteristics were not found in a similarly studied sample of 52 children adopted in the first 6 months of life within the U.K. The children from Romania with autistic patterns showed clinical features closely similar to “ordinary” autism at 4 years but they differed with respect to the improvement seen by age 6 years, to an equal sex ratio, and to a normal head circumference. The children from Romania with autistic features tended to differ from the other Romanian adoptees with respect to a greater degree of cognitive impairment and a longer duration of severe psychological privation.

Corresponding author
Requests for reprints to: Professor Michael Rutter, MRC Child Psychiatry Unit, Institute of Psychiatry, De Crespigny Park, Denmark Hill, London SE5 8AF, U.K.
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The Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry and Allied Disciplines
  • ISSN: 0021-9630
  • EISSN: 1469-7610
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-child-psychology-and-psychiatry-and-allied-disciplines
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