Early detection of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) has come to be recognized as a crucial activity in promoting the best possible outcome for affected children. In our current NICHD-funded Early Detection (ED) study, for which this application is a competing continuation, we have developed an effective screening instrument, the Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers (M-CHAT), which is now widely used in the US, and is being studied in translation in other countries and cultures, including Japan, China, Spain, the Netherlands, France, Iceland, Ireland, Germany, Egypt, Puerto Rico and Turkey. It is being used by the Indian Health Service and is included in the American Academy of Pediatrics screening tool kit. In addition to studying the properties of this screening instrument, studying our current cohort of 16-30 month old children detected with the M-CHAT and diagnosed with ASD, has allowed us to address other questions of great theoretical and practical importance concerning early detection and development, including: characteristics of children with ASD screened from high risk vs. unselected samples, characteristics of younger siblings of children with ASD detected at age 1.5 to 2, early predictors of outcome, the application of DSM-IV symptoms to very young children, diagnostic stability through early childhood, validity of diagnostic instruments in 2-year-olds, growth parameters in early development and their relationships to outcome, and whether general developmental screening is sufficient to detect ASD. The overarching goal of this continuation is to validate a final shortened revision of the M-CHAT. This final version will be (a) brief and user-friendly, (b) easy for pediatricians to score in their offices, (c) valid for diverse populations of children, (d) valid for younger siblings, who are at high risk, and (e) ready to be recommended for universal pediatric use in the US, as well as in multiple translations in other countries. Disseminating a finalized, valid screener for early detection of ASD, which is parent- and pediatrician-friendly, will allow a large number of children to have earlier access to intervention and optimize their developmental outcomes.

Public Health Relevance

The goal of this project is to validate a final shortened revision of the M-CHAT, a screener for autism in toddlers. This final version will be (a) brief and user-friendly, (b) easy for pediatricians to score in their offices, (c) valid for diverse populations of children, (d) valid for younger siblings, who are at high risk, and (e) ready to be recommended for universal pediatric use in the US, as well as in multiple translations in other countries. Disseminating a finalized, valid screener for early detection of ASD, which is parent- and pediatrician-friendly, will allow a large number of children to have earlier access to intervention and optimize their developmental outcomes.

Agency
National Institute of Health (NIH)
Institute
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development (NICHD)
Type
Research Project (R01)
Project #
5R01HD039961-09
Application #
8250282
Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1-BBBP-J (02))
Program Officer
Kau, Alice S
Project Start
2000-12-01
Project End
2014-03-31
Budget Start
2012-04-01
Budget End
2013-03-31
Support Year
9
Fiscal Year
2012
Total Cost
$992,563
Indirect Cost
$182,336
Name
University of Connecticut
Department
Psychology
Type
Schools of Arts and Sciences
DUNS #
614209054
City
Storrs-Mansfield
State
CT
Country
United States
Zip Code
06269
Brennan, Laura; Barton, Marianne; Chen, Chi-Ming et al. (2015) Detecting subgroups in children diagnosed with pervasive developmental disorder - not otherwise specified. J Autism Dev Disord 45:1329-44
Taylor, Cora M; Vehorn, Alison; Noble, Hylan et al. (2014) Brief report: can metrics of reporting bias enhance early autism screening measures? J Autism Dev Disord 44:2375-80
Wiggins, Lisa D; Piazza, Vivian; Robins, Diana L (2014) Comparison of a broad-based screen versus disorder-specific screen in detecting young children with an autism spectrum disorder. Autism 18:76-84
Herlihy, Lauren E; Brooks, Bianca; Dumont-Mathieu, Thyde et al. (2014) Standardized screening facilitates timely diagnosis of autism spectrum disorders in a diverse sample of low-risk toddlers. J Dev Behav Pediatr 35:85-92
Mayo, Jessica; Chlebowski, Colby; Fein, Deborah A et al. (2013) Age of first words predicts cognitive ability and adaptive skills in children with ASD. J Autism Dev Disord 43:253-64
Barton, Marianne L; Robins, Diana L; Jashar, Dasal et al. (2013) Sensitivity and specificity of proposed DSM-5 criteria for autism spectrum disorder in toddlers. J Autism Dev Disord 43:1184-95
Chlebowski, Colby; Green, James A; Barton, Marianne L et al. (2010) Using the childhood autism rating scale to diagnose autism spectrum disorders. J Autism Dev Disord 40:787-99
Kleinman, Jamie M; Ventola, Pamela E; Pandey, Juhi et al. (2008) Diagnostic stability in very young children with autism spectrum disorders. J Autism Dev Disord 38:606-15
Elder, Lauren M; Dawson, Geraldine; Toth, Karen et al. (2008) Head circumference as an early predictor of autism symptoms in younger siblings of children with autism spectrum disorder. J Autism Dev Disord 38:1104-11
Kleinman, Jamie M; Robins, Diana L; Ventola, Pamela E et al. (2008) The modified checklist for autism in toddlers: a follow-up study investigating the early detection of autism spectrum disorders. J Autism Dev Disord 38:827-39

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