Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 48, Issue 4, pp 1063–1068 | Cite as

Brief Report: Agreement Between Parents and Day-Care Professionals on Early Symptoms Associated with Autism Spectrum Disorders

  • Kenneth LarsenEmail author
  • Astrid Aasland
  • Trond H. Diseth
Brief Report


Early identification of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) has the potential to elicit effective early intervention, improving children’s level of functioning and developmental trajectories as well as reducing parental stress. Multiple sources of information, including several informants may facilitate early identification. This study examined the agreement between parents and day-care professionals on how they retrospectively recall early symptoms associated with ASD. In this study, we found fair to excellent agreement on early symptoms between parents and day-care professionals. The finding indicates that day-care centres may be a supplementary area for early identification of ASD. More research is needed to explore day-care centers possible role in this early identification.


Early indentification Day-care centers Parents Parent professional partnership 



This study was funded by Oslo University Hospital, Regional resource center for autism, ADHD, Tourette’s syndrome and narcolepsy.

Author Contributions

All authors contribued in planning, writing and revising the manuscript.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the Regional Committee for Medical and Health Research Ethics, 2013/2101and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments.

Supplementary material

10803_2017_3355_MOESM1_ESM.docx (22 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 22 KB)


  1. American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (DSM-5®). St. Louis: American Psychiatric Pub.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Baranek, G., Watson, L., Crais, E., & Reznick, S. (2003). First-year inventory (FYI) 2.0. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.Google Scholar
  3. Brian, J. A., Bryson, S. E., & Zwaigenbaum, L. (2015). Autism spectrum disorder in infancy: Developmental considerations in treatment targets. Current Opinion in Neurology, 28(2), 117–123.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Bryson, S. E., Zwaigenbaum, L., McDermott, C., Rombough, V., & Brian, J. (2008). The Autism Observation Scale for Infants: Scale development and reliability data. Journal of autism and developmental disorders, 38(4), 731–738.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. Cox, A., Klein, K., Charman, T., Baird, G., Baron-Cohen, S., Swettenham, J., … & Wheelwright, S. (1999). Autism spectrum disorders at 20 and 42 months of age: Stability of clinical and ADI-R diagnosis. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 40(5), 719–732.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. Dereu, M., Roeyers, H., Raymaekers, R., Meirsschaut, M., & Warreyn, P. (2012). How useful are screening instruments for toddlers to predict outcome at age 4? General development, language skills, and symptom severity in children with a false positive screen for autism spectrum disorder. European Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 21(10), 541–551.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. Dietz, C., Swinkels, S., van Daalen, E., van Engeland, H., & Buitelaar, J. K. (2006). Screening for autistic spectrum disorder in children aged 14–15 months. II: Population screening with the Early Screening of Autistic Traits Questionnaire (ESAT). Design and general findings. Journal of autism and developmental disorders, 36(6), 713–722.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. Estes, A., Munson, J., Rogers, S. J., Greenson, J., Winter, J., & Dawson, G. (2015). Long-term outcomes of early intervention in 6-year-old children with autism spectrum disorder. Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 54(7), 580–587.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Estes, A., Vismara, L., Mercado, C., Fitzpatrick, A., Elder, L., Greenson, J., … & Dawson, G. (2014). The impact of parent-delivered intervention on parents of very young children with autism. Journal of autism and developmental disorders, 44(2), 353–365.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  10. Gammer, I., Bedford, R., Elsabbagh, M., Garwood, H., Pasco, G., Tucker, L.,. .. Team, B. (2015). Behavioural markers for autism in infancy: Scores on the Autism Observational Scale for Infants in a prospective study of at-risk siblings. Infant behavior & development, 38, 107–115.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Jones, E. J., Gliga, T., Bedford, R., Charman, T., & Johnson, M. H. (2014). Developmental pathways to autism: A review of prospective studies of infants at risk. Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews, 39, 1–33.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Kasari, C., Gulsrud, A. C., Wong, C., Kwon, S., & Locke, J. (2010). Randomized controlled caregiver mediated joint engagement intervention for toddlers with autism. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 40(9), 1045–1056.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  13. Kleinman, J. M., Ventola, P. E., Pandey, J., Verbalis, A. D., Barton, M., Hodgson, S., … & Fein, D. (2008). Diagnostic stability in very young children with autism spectrum disorders. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 38(4), 606–615.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. Koo, T. K., & Li, M. Y. (2016). A guideline of selecting and reporting intraclass correlation coefficients for reliability research. Journal of Chiropractic Medicine, 15(2), 155–163.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  15. Larsen, K. (2015). The early diagnosis of preschool children with Autism Spectrum Disorder in Norway: A study of diagnostic age and its associated factors. Scandinavian Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Psychology, 3(2), 136–145.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Matheis, M., Matson, J. L., Burns, C. O., Jiang, X., Peters, W. J., Moore, M., … & Estabillo, J. (2017). Factors related to parental age of first concern in toddlers with autism spectrum disorder. Developmental Neurorehabilitation, 20(4), 228–235.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. Mazurek, M. O., Handen, B. L., Wodka, E. L., Nowinski, L., Butter, E., & Engelhardt, C. R. (2014). Age at first autism spectrum disorder diagnosis: The role of birth cohort, demographic factors, and clinical features. Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics, 35(9), 561–569.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. McGraw, K. O., & Wong, S. P. (1996). Forming inferences about some intraclass correlation coefficients. Psychological Methods, 1(1), 30.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Miller, L. E., Perkins, K. A., Dai, Y. G., & Fein, D. A. (2017). Comparison of parent report and direct assessment of child skills in toddlers. Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, 41, 57–65.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  20. Nordahl-Hansen, A., Kaale, A., & Ulvund, S. E. (2013). Inter-rater reliability of parent and preschool teacher ratings of language in children with autism. Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, 7(11), 1391–1396.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Nordahl-Hansen, A., Kaale, A., & Ulvund, S. E. (2014). Language assessment in children with autism spectrum disorder: Concurrent validity between report-based assessments and direct tests. Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, 8(9), 1100–1106.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Regional kompetansetjeneste (2013). Regional retningslinje for diagnostisering av autismespekterforstyrrelser. Oslo: Oslo universitetssykehus.Google Scholar
  23. Robins, D. L., Fein, D., Barton, M. L., & Green, J. A. (2001). The Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers: An initial study investigating the early detection of autism and pervasive developmental disorders. Journal of autism and Developmental Disorders, 31(2), 131–144.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  24. Russell, A. J., Murphy, C. M., Wilson, E., Gillan, N., Brown, C., Robertson, D. M., … & McAlonan, G. M. (2016). The mental health of individuals referred for assessment of autism spectrum disorder in adulthood: A clinic report. Autism: The International Journal of Research and Practice, 20(5), 623–627.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Sacrey, L. A., Zwaigenbaum, L., Bryson, S., Brian, J., Smith, I. M., Roberts, W.,. .. Armstrong, V. (2015). Can parents’ concerns predict autism spectrum disorder? A prospective study of high-risk siblings from 6 to 36 months of age. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 54(6), 470–478.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  26. Stadnick, N. A., Stahmer, A., & Brookman-Frazee, L. (2015). Preliminary effectiveness of project impact: A parent-mediated intervention for children with autism spectrum disorder delivered in a community program. Journal of autism and developmental disorders, 45(7), 2092–2104.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  27. Steiner, A. M., Gengoux, G. W., Klin, A., & Chawarska, K. (2013). Pivotal response treatment for infants at-risk for autism spectrum disorders: A pilot study. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 43(1), 91–102.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  28. Stratis, E. A., & Lecavalier, L. (2015). Informant agreement for youth with autism spectrum disorder or intellectual disability: A meta-analysis. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 45(4), 1026–1041.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  29. Zuckerman, K. E., Lindly, O. J., & Sinche, B. K. (2015). Parental concerns, provider response, and timeliness of autism spectrum disorder diagnosis. The Journal of pediatrics, 166(6), 1431–1439.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Regional resource centre for autism, ADHD, Tourette´s syndrome and narcolepsy, Division of Paediatric and Adolescent MedicineOslo University HospitalOsloNorway
  2. 2.Section of Psychosomatics and CL-Child Psychiatry, Department of Clinical Neurosciences for Children, Division of Paediatric and Adolescent MedicineOslo University HospitalOsloNorway
  3. 3.Institute of Clinical Medicine, Faculty of MedicineUniversity of OsloOsloNorway

Personalised recommendations