Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 34, Issue 5, pp 473-493

First online:

Early Indicators of Autism Spectrum Disorders in the Second Year of Life

  • Amy M. WetherbyAffiliated withFlorida State University
  • , Juliann WoodsAffiliated withFlorida State University
  • , Lori AllenAffiliated withFlorida State University
  • , Julie ClearyAffiliated withFlorida State University
  • , Holly DickinsonAffiliated withFlorida State University
  • , Catherine LordAffiliated withUniversity of Michigan

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Three groups of 18 children were selected for this study, one group with autism spectrum disorders (ASD), one group with developmental delays in which ASD was ruled out (DD), and one group with typical development (TD), from a pool of 3026 children who were screened with the Communication and Symbolic Behavior Scales Developmental Profile (CSBS DP, Wetherby & Prizant, 2002) Infant-Toddler Checklist under 24 months of age. The CSBS DP Behavior Sample was videotaped on selected children as a second-level evaluation during the second year of life. The Infant-Toddler Checklist had a sensitivity and specificity of 88.9% for this sample of children. Significant group differences were found on the Infant-Toddler Checklist and the Behavior Sample, however, these differences did not distinguish children with ASD and DD with high accuracy. The videotapes of the Behavior Sample were reanalyzed to identify red flags of ASD. Nine red flags differentiated children in the ASD group from both the DD and TD groups and four red flags differentiated children in the ASD Group from the TD group but not the DD group. These 13 red flags were found to discriminate the three groups with a correct classification rate of 94.4%.

Autism CSBS DP developmental delay early identification screening