Children with autism spectrum disorder from China and the Netherlands: Age of diagnosis, gender and comorbidities

Ke Wang, Chongying Wang*, Dehua Guo, Marlies van Wijngaarden, Sander Begeer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)76-82
Number of pages7
JournalResearch in autism spectrum disorders
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2018


  • Age of diagnosis
  • Autism spectrum disorder
  • Comorbidities
  • Gender


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