Support for a Dimensional View of Autism Spectrum Disorders in Toddlers
- 673 Downloads
We examined whether clinically distinct subgroups can be derived from a sample of toddlers (n = 186) who failed the Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers, received a comprehensive clinical evaluation, and were diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Three subgroups emerged from cluster analysis distinguished by (a) social, communication, and intellectual skills and (b) the rate and intensity of repetitive behaviors and abnormal sensory response. Preoccupations, compulsions, and rituals did not distinguish resultant subgroups. These results support a dimensional diagnostic view of ASDs in toddlers since subgroup differences were based on symptom severity rather than different symptom profiles. Results also identify specific types and levels of behavioral deficit relevant to toddler populations. Implications for early diagnosis are discussed.
KeywordsAutism spectrum disorders (ASDs) Early identification Early diagnosis Cluster analysis
We would like to acknowledge the early screening study teams at the University of Connecticut, under the direction of Dr. Deborah Fein, and Georgia State University, under the direction of Dr. Diana L. Robins. We would also like to acknowledge the children and families who participated in this research.
- American Psychiatric Association. (1994). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (4th ed.). Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Association.Google Scholar
- American Psychiatric Association. (2009). Report of the DSM-V Neurodevelopmental Disorders Workgroup. Retrieved 11 July 2009 from http://www.psych.org/MainMenu/Research/DSMIV/DSMV/DSMRevisionActivities/DSM-V-Work-Group-Reports/Neurodevelopmental-Disorders-Work-Group-Report.aspx.
- Chlebowski, C., Green, J. A., Barton, M. L., & Fein, D. (2010). Using the childhood autism rating scale to diagnose autism spectrum disorders. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, Available Online First 01/07/2010.Google Scholar
- Kleinman, J. M., Robins, D. L., Ventola, P. E., Pandey, J., Boorstein, H. C., Esser, E. L., et al. (2008). The modified checklist for autism in toddlers: A follow-up study investigating the early detection of autism spectrum disorders. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 38, 827–839.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Lord, C., Risi, S., DiLavore, P., Shulman, C., Thurm, A., & Pickles, A. (2006). Autism from 2 to 9 years of age. Archives of General Psychiatry, 63, 694–701.Google Scholar
- Lord, C., Rutter, M., DiLavore, P., & Risi, S. (1999). Autism diagnostic observation schedule–WPS edition. Los Angeles, CA: Western Psychological Services.Google Scholar
- Mullen, E. (1995). Mullen scales of early learning. American Guidance Service.Google Scholar
- Robins, D. L., Fein, D., & Barton, M. (1999a). The modified checklist for autism in toddlers (M-CHAT). Self-published.Google Scholar
- Robins, D. L., Fein, D., & Barton, M. (1999b). Follow-up interview for the modified checklist for autism in toddlers (M-CHAT FUI). Self-published.Google Scholar
- Schopler, E., Reichler, R. J., & Renner, B. R. (1988). The childhood autism rating scale. Los Angeles, CA: Western Psychological Services.Google Scholar
- Sparrow, S., Balla, D., & Cicchetti, D. V. (1984). Vineland adaptive behavior scales. Circle Pines, MN: American Guidance Services.Google Scholar
- Sparrow, S., Balla, D., & Cicchetti, D. V. (2005). Vineland adaptive behavior scales. Circle Pines, MN: American Guidance Services.Google Scholar