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 #
5R01HD039961-10
Application #
8451592
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
2013-04-01
Budget End
2014-03-31
Support Year
10
Fiscal Year
2013
Total Cost
$924,542
Indirect Cost
$174,059
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
Ramsey, Riane K; Nichols, Lashae; Ludwig, Natasha N et al. (2018) Brief Report: Sex Differences in Parental Concerns for Toddlers with Autism Risk. J Autism Dev Disord 48:4063-4069
Khowaja, Meena; Robins, Diana L; Adamson, Lauren B (2018) Utilizing two-tiered screening for early detection of autism spectrum disorder. Autism 22:881-890
Hinnebusch, Alexander J; Miller, Lauren E; Fein, Deborah A (2017) Autism Spectrum Disorders and Low Mental Age: Diagnostic Stability and Developmental Outcomes in Early Childhood. J Autism Dev Disord 47:3967-3982
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Miller, Lauren E; Burke, Jeffrey D; Troyb, Eva et al. (2017) Preschool predictors of school-age academic achievement in autism spectrum disorder. Clin Neuropsychol 31:382-403
Miller, Lauren E; Perkins, Kayla A; Dai, Yael G et al. (2017) Comparison of Parent Report and Direct Assessment of Child Skills in Toddlers. Res Autism Spectr Disord 41-42:57-65
Bradstreet, Lauren E; Hecht, Erin E; King, Tricia Z et al. (2017) Associations between autistic traits and fractional anisotropy values in white matter tracts in a nonclinical sample of young adults. Exp Brain Res 235:259-267
Moulton, Emily; Barton, Marianne; Robins, Diana L et al. (2016) Early Characteristics of Children with ASD Who Demonstrate Optimal Progress Between Age Two and Four. J Autism Dev Disord 46:2160-2173
Robins, Diana L; Adamson, Lauren B; Barton, Marianne et al. (2016) Universal Autism Screening for Toddlers: Recommendations at Odds. J Autism Dev Disord 46:1880-2
Fein, Deborah; Baby Sibs Research Consortium (2016) Commentary on USPSTF Final Statement on Universal Screening for Autism. J Dev Behav Pediatr 37:573-8

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