Developmental medicine and child neurology 2017 04 2559(7) 738-742 doi 10.1111/dmcn.13436
To evaluate the prevalence of co-occurring autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) among children with cerebral palsy (CP), and to describe their characteristics.
The data of 1225 CP cases from four population-based registers (Iceland, Sweden, and two in France) and one population-based surveillance programme (North East England, UK) participating in the Surveillance of Cerebral Palsy in Europe Network (SCPE) were analysed. The ASD diagnoses were systematically recorded using category F84 of the International Classification of Diseases, 10th Revision. The registers provided data on children born between 1995 and 2006, while the cross-sectional survey in the UK concerned children aged 0 to 19 years, registered in 2010.
Among the children with CP, 107 had an associated diagnosis of ASD – i.e., 8.7% of the study population (95% confidence interval 7.2-10.5). This proportion varied across centres from 4.0% to 16.7% but was independent of CP prevalence. Male sex, co-occurring epilepsy, intellectual disability, and better walking ability were associated with the coexistence of ASD.
Our findings support the need for a multidisciplinary approach to management of children with CP to adequately identify and address all facets of presentation, including ASD.