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Spotting Signs of Autism in 3-Year-Olds: Comparing Information from Parents and Preschool Staff
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology. Karolinska Inst, Dept Womens & Childrens Hlth, Div Neuropsychiat, Ctr Neurodev Disorders KIND, Stockholm, Sweden; Stockholm Cty Council, Ctr Psychiat Res, Stockholm, Sweden.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology. Karolinska Inst, Dept Womens & Childrens Hlth, Div Neuropsychiat, Ctr Neurodev Disorders KIND, Stockholm, Sweden; Stockholm Cty Council, Ctr Psychiat Res, Stockholm, Sweden; SCAS, Thunbergsvagen 2, SE-75238 Uppsala, Sweden.
2019 (English)In: Journal of autism and developmental disorders, ISSN 0162-3257, E-ISSN 1573-3432, Vol. 49, no 3, p. 1232-1241Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Preschool informants may provide valuable information about symptoms of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in young children. We compared the diagnostic accuracy of ratings by preschool staff with those by parents of 3-year-old children using the Achenbach System of Empirically Based Assessment Preschool Forms. The sample consisted of 32 children at familial risk for ASD without diagnosis, 10 children at risk for ASD with diagnosis, and 14 low-risk typically developing controls. Preschool staff ratings were more accurate than parent ratings at differentiating children with and without ASD, and more closely associated with clinician-rated symptoms. These results point to the value of information from preschool informants in early detection and diagnostic assessments.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer, 2019. Vol. 49, no 3, p. 1232-1241
Keywords [en]
Autism Spectrum Disorder; Early Development; Rating Scales
National Category
Psychology (excluding Applied Psychology)
Research subject
Psychology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-364104DOI: 10.1007/s10803-018-3821-5ISI: 000459794700031PubMedID: 30465293OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-364104DiVA, id: diva2:1258100
Funder
Swedish Research Council, 2015-03670Riksbankens Jubileumsfond, NHS14-1802:1Available from: 2018-10-23 Created: 2018-10-23 Last updated: 2019-03-26Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Recognizing Disability and Ability in Young Autistic Children
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Recognizing Disability and Ability in Young Autistic Children
2018 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is characterized by impairments, or disabilities, in social communication and interaction (SCI), and restricted and repetitive behaviors (RRBs), but is also associated with enhanced abilities. Early identification of disability in ASD has been a primary focus in clinical practice, while abilities associated with ASD have neither been recognized nor assessed. The overarching purpose of this thesis was to improve early recognition of both disability and ability in young autistic children. Three studies were conducted in a largely overlapping sample of 3-year-old high-risk-for-ASD siblings, either with or without ASD, and low-risk-for-ASD siblings. Study I and II focused on the value of preschool staff as informants in early identification of autistic symptoms, while Study III investigated potential strengths in visual ability in autistic children. Study I investigated how accurately parents and preschool staff rated autistic symptoms in relation to diagnoses and clinical assessment of autistic symptoms. Results showed that ratings by preschool staff were more accurate than parent ratings at differentiating the ASD group from the two other groups, and more closely associated with clinical autistic symptoms. Study II focused on preschool staff’s ratings of social communication and interaction (SCI) and restricted and repetitive behaviors (RRBs). Results showed that ratings of SCI were more accurate than RRBs in differentiating the ASD group from the two other groups, and only the SCI ratings correlated with clinical assessment of social impairment. Study III investigated specific aspects of visual ability with five visual tasks. Similar performance on visual ability was found among groups, except for the Hidden Pictures (HP) task. The children with ASD had superior performance on HP compared with the other two groups. Results of Study I and II suggest that preschool staff report on autistic symptoms may complement parent report in diagnostic assessment of ASD, although their report on RRBs should be interpreted with caution. The results of Study III indicate that enhanced visual ability can be identified in autistic children already at age three. Overall, this thesis suggests that information from preschool staff and assessment of visual ability can contribute to the early recognition of disability and ability in young children with ASD.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2018. p. 78
Series
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Social Sciences, ISSN 1652-9030 ; 162
Keywords
Autism Spectrum Disorder; Early Development; CBCL 1.5 - C-TRF; SRS-2; Preschool Informants; Visual Ability; Local-Global Research; Autistic Empowerment
National Category
Psychology
Research subject
Psychology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-364106 (URN)978-91-513-0490-8 (ISBN)
Public defence
2018-12-14, the Humanities Theatre, Campus Engelska parken, Thunbergsvägen 3, Uppsala, 10:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2018-11-21 Created: 2018-10-24 Last updated: 2018-11-30

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Nilsson Jobs, ElisabethFalck-Ytter, Terje

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