Early Autism Screening Using a General Social-Emotional Measure: Preliminary Study of the Ages and Stages Questionnaires: Social Emotional- 2nd Edition
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The Ages and Stages Questionnaires (ASQ) (Squires & Bricker, 2009) is used by pediatricians, educators, and parents to screen for developmental delays and identify children at risk for delay. The purpose of the ASQ: Social Emotional- Second Edition (ASQ:SE-2) is to screen for a child’s self-regulation, compliance, communication, adaptive behaviors, autonomy, affect, and interaction with people. A recent revision of the ASQ:SE-2 included items that were intended to identify children at risk for autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The present study provides an examination of the validity of the ASQ:SE-2 in identifying children at risk for ASD. In the present study, total scores on a subset of items from the ASQ:SE-2 that specifically addressed ASD were compared with results from a team clinical diagnosis of ASD for 60 children, between 18-48 months of age. When the ASD-related items were considered alone, the scores of children with ASD and those without ASD were significantly different, and there were no differences in ASQ:SE-2 total scores for children with and without ASD. These findings indicate that parents of children with ASD reported significantly more concerns on ASD-related items on the ASQ:SE-2 than parents of children without ASD. Moreover, the results suggest that an increasing ASD total item score on the broadband instrument resulted in an increased likelihood of a child receiving an ASD diagnosis.