The study aimed to describe parents’ views of their early perception and detection that something was wrong with their child and to give a comprehensive description of early signs to help primary health care nurses to focus on relevant symptoms. Participants were 66 parents from a total of 37 families, a population-based sample from a Swedish county. Interview data were analyzed by manifest content analysis. The results indicated a few critical periods: around the birth, early speech development, and school start. The diagnosis of autistic spectrum disorders was delayed. The parents’ reports were congruent with earlier observation studies.
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☆The Council of Health Research, Faculty of Medicine, Lund University, and the County Council of Kronoberg, Sweden, provided funding for this study.
© 2003 Elsevier Inc. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.