Detection of autism in childhood
|PhD ceremony:||Mr M. (Maarten) van 't Hof|
|When:||March 08, 2021|
|Supervisors:||prof. dr. H.W. Hoek, prof. dr. P.W. Jansen|
|Co-supervisor:||dr. W.A. Ester|
|Where:||Academy building RUG|
|Faculty:||Medical Sciences / UMCG|
The objective of this thesis by Maarten van ‘t Hof was to identify factors to enhance the detection of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in childhood.
This thesis indicate that the global age at ASD diagnosis is currently still relatively high as results found a global mean age at ASD diagnosis of 60 months. More standardized research on the age at ASD diagnosis is needed to compare results and identify weak points in local or national healthcare systems and improve the early detection of ASD.
Research on the detection of ASD by Dutch preventive care physicians show that they have low levels of specific ASD knowledge (e.g. early signs, diagnostic criteria and comorbidity). A live online educational program had a positive effect on level of ASD knowledge and self-confidence in detection ASD among preventive care physicians, highlighting the importance of such educational programs.
Van ‘t Hof also evaluated the relationship between ASD traits and eating behavior using the Generation R cohort. Results indicate an association between ASD and eating behavior throughout childhood that can potentially be useful in the (early) detection of ASD.
CV – Maarten van ‘t HofMaarten van ’t Hof (1984) worked for Sarr Expert Centre for Autism (Lucertis, now Youz Child and adolescent psychiatry) during during writing this thesis. He currently works as an account manager (mental healthcare) for Parnassia Group. All articles included in this thesis are published (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/?term=van+%27t+Hof+M+AND+Ester+W&sort=date).