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Autism Spectrum Disorders

Early Identification Checklists

If a child seems to be lagging behind in some normal developmental milestones, additional evalution is warranted. Many professionals recommend checklists as guides to identify problems.

An article in Pediatrics, 2001 by the Committee on Children with Disabilities reviewed several checklists. The Checklist for Autism in Toddlers (CHAT) is a screening instrument for 18-month old toddlers. The Pervasive Developmental Disorder Screening Test (PDDST) can be completed by parents. Other checklists include the Childhood Autism Rating Scale (CARS), the Autism Behavior Checklist (ABC), the Gilliam Autism Rating Scale, the Autism Diagnostic Interview-Revised (ADI-R), the Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers, and the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS).

The Pediatrics 2001 article above also listed questions that a physician might ask a parent regarding the behavior of the child.

Wetherby and Prizant, 2002 developed the Communication and Symbolic Behavior Scales Developmental Profile™ (CSBS DP™) checklist, which can be used with infants as young as 6 months. Their Infant-Toddler checklist was used by Pierce et al., 2011 to detect cases of ASD, language delay, and developmental delay in one-year-olds.

Although diagnosis is not done by simply administering a checklist, information derived from it is useful in gathering further information. For a definite diagnosis of ASDs, other tests are sought such as hearing, genetic tests, or evaluations by occupational therapists, speech-language therapists, special educators, psychologists, and others.

Comprehensive assessments include developmental, communicative, and functional assessments (CBASSE, 2001).

We now turn to four possible deficits in children with ASDs: social, language, joint attention, and behavior.

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Last Update: Apr 15 2013