Detecting Autism Spectrum Disorder from Early Intervention Charts: Methodology and Preliminary Findings

  • Patricia O. Towle
  • Paul F. Visintainer
  • Colleen O’Sullivan
  • N. Elizabeth Bryant
  • Suzanne Busby
Original Paper

Abstract

Federal laws mandating a “single point of entry” for early intervention (EI) create a potential database for surveillance of early childhood disabilities. This study evaluated EI records for estimating rates of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) using a chart abstraction protocol, with good interrater agreement (k = .86). Sampling 304 EI records yielded a point prevalence of (per 1,000) 8.5 (95% CI: 4.8–10.9) and a cumulative incidence of 7.4 (95% CI: 5.5–12.4). These rates are similar to recent published estimates. Additionally, the male-to-female ratio for autism, and rates of other developmental disorders were found to be consistent with current literature. These results suggest that local systems EI records may provide an excellent resource for ASD surveillance and research.

Keywords

Autism ASD Early intervention Surveillance Records 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Patricia O. Towle
    • 1
    • 2
  • Paul F. Visintainer
    • 3
  • Colleen O’Sullivan
    • 2
    • 5
  • N. Elizabeth Bryant
    • 2
    • 4
  • Suzanne Busby
    • 2
    • 6
  1. 1.School of Public HealthNew York Medical CollegeValhallaUSA
  2. 2.Westchester Institute for Human DevelopmentValhallaUSA
  3. 3.Department of Biostatistics, School of Public HealthNew York Medical CollegeValhallaUSA
  4. 4.Partners for Inclusive Parenting, University of Arkansas for Medical SciencesNorth Little RockUSA
  5. 5.Chappaqua School DistrictChappaquaUSA
  6. 6.Department of PsychologyState University of New York at New PaltzNew PaltzUSA

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