Patterns of Developmental Delay in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Perspective from a Developing Country

  • Rehamana Waris Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences
  • Syed Hashim Raza Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences
  • Ramish Riaz NNational University of Science & Technology
Keywords: Autism Spectrum Disorder, Developmental Milestones,, Global Developmental Delay, Speech Delay, Social Skills, Cognitive delay


Background: Autism Spectrum Disorder is a developmental disorder characterized by difficulties in social interaction, initiating conversations, delay in language skills, play skills and stereotypic behaviours. Children with severe developmental delay and those with global developmental delays are needed to be identified as they may have long term problems and disabilities.

Materials & Methods: All children below age of 5 years coming first time for assessment of ASD and diagnosed using ADI-R and ADOS-2 were included in the study. Total 334 children met the criterion. All children having performance deficit below 2SD on age appropriate mean were considered as having developmental delay. Those having delay in two or more than two domains were labelled as having global developmental delay. Detailed clinical and developmental assessment was performed.  Data was entered and analysed via SPSS v26.

Results: Mean age of children at time of presentation was 3.6±1.10 years with male to female ratio of 3.5:1. According to developmental assessment using Schedule for growing Scales II, most affected area was speech and language (51.5%) followed by cognitive skills (50.7%), social interactive skills (49.9%), visual skills (46.9%), hearing and language skills, (38.3%), self-care social skills (26.2%), manipulative skills (13.5%) and gross motor skills (0.4%). Global Developmental Delay was found to be present in half of the children for which there was no other possible explanation.

Conclusion: Most of the children with Autism Spectrum Disorder from developmental delay of some sort. Therefore, every child with Autism Spectrum Disorder must be evaluated for Developmental Delay and supported.

Original Articles