Validation of the Infant-Toddler Checklist as a broadband screener for autism spectrum disorders from 9 to 24 months of age.

Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL 32301, USA.
Autism (Impact Factor: 3.5). 10/2008; 12(5):487-511. DOI: 10.1177/1362361308094501
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT There is an urgent requirement for the improvement of early detection of ASDs. This article provides a brief review of research on the accuracy of screeners for children with ASD that have been administered to general pediatric samples and then present results of a population-based study with a broadband screener to detect children with communication delays including children with ASD.

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    ABSTRACT: Autism spectrum disorder (autism) is a highly prevalent and heterogeneous family of neurodevelopmental disorders of genetic origins with potentially devastating implications for child, family, health and educational systems. Despite advances in paper-and-pencil screening and in standardization of diagnostic procedures, diagnosis of autism in the US still hovers around the ages of four or five years, later still in disadvantaged communities, and several years after the age of two to three years when the condition can be reliably diagnosed by expert clinicians. As early detection and treatment are two of the most important factors optimizing outcome, and given that diagnosis is typically a necessary condition for families to have access to early treatment, reducing age of diagnosis has become one of the greatest priorities of the field. Recent advances in developmental social neuroscience promise the advent of cost-effective and community-viable, performance-based procedures, and suggest a complementary method for promoting universal screening and much greater access to the diagnosis process. Small but critical studies have already reported on experiments that differentiate groups of children at risk for autism from controls, and at least one study so far could predict diagnostic classification and level of disability on the basis of a brief experiment. Although the road to translating such procedures into effective devices for screening and diagnosis is still a long one, and premature claims should be avoided, this effort could be critical in addressing this worldwide public health challenge.
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    The Yale journal of biology and medicine 03/2015; 88(1):73-79.
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    ABSTRACT: Clinically and biologically, autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is heterogeneous. Unusual patterns of visual preference as indexed by eye tracking are hallmarks; however, whether they can be used to define an early biomarker of ASD as a whole or leveraged to define a subtype is unclear. To begin to examine this issue, large cohorts are required. A sample of 334 toddlers from six distinct groups (115 toddlers with ASD, 20 toddlers with ASD features, 57 toddlers with developmental delay, 53 toddlers with other conditions [e.g., premature birth, prenatal drug exposure], 64 toddlers with typical development, and 25 unaffected toddlers with siblings with ASD) was studied. Toddlers watched a movie containing geometric and social images. Fixation duration and number of saccades within each area of interest and validation statistics for this independent sample were computed. Next, to maximize power, data from our previous study (n = 110) were added for a total of 444 subjects. A subset of toddlers repeated the eye-tracking procedure. As in the original study, a subset of toddlers with ASD fixated on geometric images >69% of the time. Using this cutoff, sensitivity for ASD was 21%, specificity was 98%, and positive predictive value was 86%. Toddlers with ASD who strongly preferred geometric images had 1) worse cognitive, language, and social skills relative to toddlers with ASD who strongly preferred social images and 2) fewer saccades when viewing geometric images. Unaffected siblings of ASD probands did not show evidence of heightened preference for geometric images. Test-retest reliability was good. Examination of age effects suggested that this test may not be appropriate with children >4 years old. Enhanced visual preference for geometric repetition may be an early developmental biomarker of an ASD subtype with more severe symptoms. Copyright © 2015 Society of Biological Psychiatry. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
    Biological Psychiatry 04/2015; 15. DOI:10.1016/j.biopsych.2015.03.032 · 9.47 Impact Factor


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