Screening for Autism in Young Children with Developmental Delay: An Evaluation of the Developmental Behaviour Checklist: Early Screen

Centre for Developmental Psychiatry & Psychology, Child & Adolescent Mental Health Service, Monash Medical Centre, 246 Clayton Rd, Clayton, VIC 3168, Australia.
Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders (Impact Factor: 3.34). 08/2008; 38(6):1003-10. DOI: 10.1007/s10803-007-0473-2
Source: PubMed


The ability to identify children who require specialist assessment for the possibility of autism at as early an age as possible has become a growing area of research. A number of measures have been developed as potential screening tools for autism. The reliability and validity of one of these measures for screening for autism in young children with developmental problems was evaluated. The parents of 207 children aged 20-51 months completed the Developmental Checklist-Early Screen (DBC-ES), prior to their child undergoing assessment. Good interrater agreement and internal consistency was found, along with significant correlations with a clinician completed measure of autism symptomatology. High sensitivity was found, with lower specificity for the originally proposed 17-item screening tool and a five-item version.

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    • "Evidence of accelerated head circumference (HC) or macrocephaly and body growth during infancy in children with ASDs is well supported in the literature, although variation in the timing of acceleration across studies exists [106, 109, 119]. Such accelerated growth has even been suggested as an early biological indicator of ASD within the first 12 months of life [120, 121]. Research investigating whether abnormally large HC during the early years can be a reliable indicator of ASD is supported by findings that HC during the early years more accurately reflects brain volume than that during adolescence and a crucial factor for the analysis of ASD onset is the timing of the increase in HC in infancy and toddlerhood [120, 122, 123]. "
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