Assessment of Autism Spectrum Disorders
How are autism-spectrum disorders defined by the DSM-IV?
How is autism differentiated from mental retardation?
What types of scales or strategies are most useful for the assessment of children with these syndromes?
What is the recommended approach for the assessment of autism spectrum disorders?
Autism is believed to affect 1 in 500 children (Bertrand et al., 2001), yet it is often not recognized until after the child is 3 years of age (Filipek et al., 2000). Hence, early screening is important for devising the most appropriate intervention strategy. In addition, because of the difficulty in recognizing autism or related problems, new assessment methods for infants and toddlers are needed. However, a discussion of the development of such tools is beyond the scope of this chapter. Importantly, the array of assessment strategies available for autism spectrum assessment referrals has greatly improved and more easily translate to treatment recommendations. This chapter will give an overview of the measures and noteworthy issues in the assessment of childhood autism.