[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Recent research has investigated the capability of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders (DSM-5) descriptions to identify individuals who should receive a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) using standardised diagnostic instruments. Building on previous research investigating behaviours essential for the diagnosis of DSM-5 ASD, the current study investigated the sensitivity and specificity of a set of 14 items derived from the Diagnostic Interview for Social and Communication Disorders (DISCO Signposting set) that have potential for signposting the diagnosis of autism according to both the new DSM-5 criteria for ASD and ICD-10 criteria for Childhood Autism. An algorithm threshold for the Signposting set was calculated in Sample 1 (n = 67), tested in an independent validation sample (Sample 2; n = 78), and applied across age and ability sub-groups in Sample 3 (n = 190). The algorithm had excellent predictive validity according to best estimate clinical diagnosis (Samples 1 and 2) and excellent agreement with established algorithms for both DSM-5 and ICD-10 (all samples). The signposting set has potential to inform our understanding of the profile of ASD in relation to other neurodevelopmental disorders and to form the basis of a Signposting Interview for use in clinical practice. (C) 2014 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.
Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders 01/2015; 9. DOI:10.1016/j.rasd.2014.10.003 · 2.96 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The objective of this study was to identify a set of ‘essential’ behaviours sufficient for diagnosis of DSM-5 Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Highly discriminating, ‘essential’ behaviours were identified from the published DSM-5 algorithm developed for the Diagnostic Interview for Social and Communication Disorders (DISCO). Study 1 identified a reduced item set (48 items) with good predictive validity (as measured using receiver operating characteristic curves) that represented all symptom sub-domains described in the DSM-5 ASD criteria but lacked sensitivity for individuals with higher ability. An adjusted essential item set (54 items; Study 2) had good sensitivity when applied to individuals with higher ability and performance was comparable to the published full DISCO DSM-5 algorithm. Investigation at the item level revealed that the most highly discriminating items predominantly measured social-communication behaviours. This work represents a first attempt to derive a reduced set of behaviours for DSM-5 directly from an existing standardised ASD developmental history interview and has implications for the use of DSM-5 criteria for clinical and research practice.
Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders 06/2014; 8(6):701–715. DOI:10.1016/j.rasd.2014.03.017 · 2.96 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Introduction of proposed criteria for DSM-5 Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) has raised concerns that some individuals currently meeting diagnostic criteria for Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD; DSM-IV-TR/ICD-10) will not qualify for a diagnosis under the proposed changes. To date, reports of sensitivity and specificity of the new criteria have been inconsistent across studies. No study has yet considered how changes at the ‘sub domain’ level might affect overall sensitivity and specificity, and few have included individuals of different ages and ability levels. A set of DSM-5 ASD algorithms were developed using items from the Diagnostic Interview for Social and Communication Disorders (DISCO). The number of items required for each DSM-5 subdomain was defined either according to criteria specified by DSM-5 (Initial Algorithm), a statistical approach (Youden J Algorithm), or to minimise the number of false positives while maximising sensitivity (Modified Algorithm). The algorithms were designed, tested and compared in two independent samples (Sample 1, N = 82; Sample 2, N = 115), while sensitivity was assessed across age and ability levels in an additional dataset of individuals with an ICD-10 PDD diagnosis (Sample 3, N = 190). Sensitivity was highest in the Initial Algorithm, which had the poorest specificity. Although Youden J had excellent specificity, sensitivity was significantly lower than in the Modified Algorithm, which had both good sensitivity and specificity. Relaxing the domain A rules improved sensitivity of the Youden J Algorithm, but it remained less sensitive than the Modified Algorithm. Moreover, this was the only algorithm with variable sensitivity across age. All versions of the algorithm performed well across ability level. This study demonstrates that good levels of both sensitivity and specificity can be achieved for a diagnostic algorithm adhering to the DSM-5 criteria that is suitable across age and ability level.
Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry 05/2013; 54(11). DOI:10.1111/jcpp.12085 · 6.46 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The DSM-V-committee has recently published proposed diagnostic criteria for autism spectrum disorders. We examine these criteria in some detail. We believe that the DSM-committee has overlooked a number of important issues, including social imagination, diagnosis in infancy and adulthood, and the possibility that girls and women with autism may continue to go unrecognised or misdiagnosed under the new manual. We conclude that a number of changes need to be made in order that the DSM-V-criteria might be used reliably and validly in clinical practice and research.
Research in developmental disabilities 03/2011; 32(2):768-73. DOI:10.1016/j.ridd.2010.11.003 · 4.41 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Patterns of sensory abnormalities in children and adults with autism were examined using the Diagnostic Interview for Social and Communication Disorders (DISCO). This interview elicits detailed information about responsiveness to a wide range of sensory stimuli. Study 1 showed that over 90% of children with autism had sensory abnormalities and had sensory symptoms in multiple sensory domains. Group differences between children with autism and clinical comparison children were found in the total number of symptoms and in specific domains of smell/taste and vision. Study 2 confirmed that sensory abnormalities are pervasive and multimodal and persistent across age and ability in children and adults with autism. Age and IQ level affects some sensory symptoms however. Clinical and research implications are discussed.
Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders 06/2007; 37(5):894-910. DOI:10.1007/s10803-006-0218-7 · 3.34 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The Diagnostic Interview for Social and Communication Disorders (DISCO) is a schedule for the diagnosis of autistic spectrum and related disorders and assessment of individual needs. It enables information to be recorded systematically for a wide range of behaviours and developmental skills and is suitable for use with all ages and levels of ability. In addition to helping the clinician to obtain a profile of each individual's pattern of development and behaviour, the DISCO also enables identification of specific features found in autistic spectrum disorders that are relevant for use with established diagnostic systems.
This paper describes the historical background of the DISCO, outlines its structure and reports the results of an inter-rater reliability study with parents of 82 children aged 3 to 11 years with autistic spectrum disorder, learning disability, language disorder or typical development.
Inter-rater reliability for the items in the interview was high (kappa coefficient or intra-class correlation at .75 or higher). This level of agreement was achieved for over 80% of the interview items.
Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry 04/2002; 43(3):307-25. DOI:10.1111/1469-7610.00023 · 6.46 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The Diagnostic Interview for Social and Communication Disorders (DISCO) is an interviewer-based schedule for use with parents and carers. In addition to its primary clinical purpose of helping the clinician to obtain a developmental history and description of the child or adult concerned, it can also be used to assist in providing a formal diagnostic category.
In this study we compared two algorithms based on the ninth revision of the schedule (DISCO 9). The algorithm for ICD-10 childhood autism comprised 91 individual, operationally defined items covering the behaviour outlined in the ICD-10 research criteria. The algorithm for the autistic spectrum disorder, as defined by Wing and Gould (1979), was based on 5 DISCO items that represented overarching categories of behaviour crucial for the diagnosis of autistic disorders. The aim of the study was to examine the implications for clinical diagnosis of these two different approaches. Parents of 36 children with clinical diagnoses of autistic disorder, 17 children with learning disability and 14 children with language disorders were interviewed by two interviewers. Algorithm diagnoses were applied to interview items in order to analyse the relationship between clinical and algorithm diagnoses and the inter-rater reliability between interviewers.
Clinical diagnosis was significantly related to the diagnostic outputs for both algorithms. Inter-rater reliability was also high for both algorithms. The ICD childhood disorder algorithm produced more discrepant diagnoses than the Wing and Gould autistic spectrum algorithm. Analysis of the ICD-10 algorithm items and combination of items helped to explain the reason for these discrepancies.
The results indicate that the DISCO is a reliable instrument for diagnosis when sources of information are used from the whole interview. It is particularly effective for diagnosing disorders of the broader autistic spectrum.
Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry 04/2002; 43(3):327-42. DOI:10.1111/1469-7610.00024 · 6.46 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In this study, algorithms designed for the Diagnostic Interview for Social and Communication Disorders (DISCO) were used to compare the ICD-10 criteria for Asperger syndrome with those suggested by Gillberg. Two hundred children and adults were studied, all of whom met the ICD-10 criteria for childhood autism or atypical autism. Only three (1 percent) met criteria for ICD-10 Asperger syndrome. In contrast, 91 (45 percent) met criteria for Asperger syndrome defined by Gillberg, which more closely resemble Asperger’s own descriptions. Results showed that the discrepancy in diagnosis was due to the ICD-10 requirement for ‘normal’ development of cognitive skills, language, curiosity and self-help skills. When comparisons were based on Gillberg’s criteria only, results showed the participants diagnosed as having Asperger syndrome differed significantly from the rest on all but two of Gillberg’s criteria. However, all of these criteria could be found in some of those not diagnosed as having Asperger syndrome. The results emphasize the differences between the two diagnostic systems. They also question the value of defining a separate subgroup and suggest that a dimensional view of the autistic spectrum is more appropriate than a categorical approach.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: DSM-IV states that Asperger Disorder may be distinguished from Autistic Disorder by a lack of a delay in early language development. The aim of this study was to establish whether the presence or absence of early language delay would predict autistic symptomatology in children diagnosed with a PDD/autism spectrum disorder. Forty-six language-delayed and 62 normal language onset individuals (M age 11 years) were compared on ICD-10 research criteria and DSM-IV criteria, receptive language, and developmental history variables. Retrospective data were also obtained to determine whether language onset predicted autism symptomatology when young (
Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders 11/1998; 28(6):527-533. DOI:10.1023/A:1026004212375 · 3.34 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Comprehensive data on the developmental history and current behaviours of a large sample of high-functioning individuals with diagnoses of autism, Asperger's syndrome, or other related disorder were collected via parent interviews. This provided the basis for a taxonomic analysis to search for subgroups. Most participants also completed theory of mind tasks. Three clusters or subgroups were obtained; these differed on theory of mind performance and on verbal abilities. Although subgroups were identified which bore some relationship to clinical differentiation of autistic, Asperger syndrome, and Pervasive Developmental Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS) cases, the nature of the differences between them appeared strongly related to ability variables. Examination of the kinds of behaviours that differentiated the groups suggested that a spectrum of autistic disorders on which children differ primarily in term of degrees of social and cognitive impairments could explain the findings.
Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry 10/1998; 39(6):893-902. DOI:10.1111/1469-7610.00389 · 6.46 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To determine what clinical symptoms clinicians have been using to distinguish between Asperger's disorder (AsD) and autistic disorder (AD).
Parents of children and adolescents with high-functioning AD (n = 48) and AsD (n = 69) were given a structured interview based on DSM-III-R and ICD-10 diagnostic criteria. Information regarding early and current symptom presentation and family, developmental, and verbal mental age information were collected. Logistic regression analyses were conducted to determine which variables best predicted clinician's diagnosis.
A number of clinical variables predicted diagnosis. Delayed language onset was the only variable of the family and developmental variables that predicted diagnosis. The AsD group was also significantly higher than the AD group in verbal mental age.
Clinicians appear to be diagnosing AsD and AD on the basis of published research and case study accounts. The findings question whether DSM-IV and ICD-10 criteria adequately describe the AsD individual, particularly in the communication domain.
Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry 12/1996; 35(11):1523-31. DOI:10.1097/00004583-199611000-00022 · 7.26 Impact Factor