Background: In recent years, an increasing number of studies have highlighted progress in ASD clinical practice and scientific research in China (Zheng & Zheng, 2015). However, little is known about the differences between clinical or scientific approaches to ASD between China and other countries. In our study we explored the impact of gender, comorbidity, parental educational and vocational status on the age of diagnosis in two samples of children with ASD from China and the Netherlands. Method: 433 children with ASD aged between 6 to 14 from China and 492 age matched children with ASD from the Netherlands were investigated based on national databases on individuals with ASD. Results: We found a lower diagnosis age in China compared to the Netherlands. The Chinese sample showed a higher male/female ratio and a higher proportion of co-morbid ADHD diagnoses, but lower age of first concern, diagnosis age and shorter delay from first concern to diagnosis. In the Dutch sample only, co-morbid ADHD resulted in lower age of first concern. The differential impact of comorbidity and gender across both countries may be related to cultural and clinical variations. Conclusions: This study may help us understand ASD from a cross-cultural perspective.
- Age of diagnosis
- Autism spectrum disorder