Identifier

etd-08082013-121135

Degree

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Psychology

Document Type

Dissertation

Abstract

As increasing interest and emphasis has been placed on early intervention for children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), the need for reliable and valid early assessment techniques has grown significantly. The Baby and Infant Screen for Children with aUtIsm Traits (BISCUIT) is a three-part battery designed to comprehensively assess for ASD in infants and toddlers aged 17 to 37 months. While studies of the measure’s psychometric properties have been promising, the measure’s scoring procedures do not take the child’s age into account. Given the significant amount of development that occurs in the first three years of life, the current paper examined the utility of age-based scoring procedures for each part of the BISCUIT. Study 1 found the BISCUIT-Part 1 to have good to excellent discriminating ability for each age group. As age increased, higher cutoff scores were needed to distinguish toddlers with PDD-NOS from those with atypical development. A different pattern emerged when distinguishing PDD-NOS from autism, with toddlers in the middle age cohort requiring the highest cutoffs. Studies 2 and 3 found that, for toddlers with ASD, as age increased, higher cutoffs were needed to indicate moderate and severe impairments in the areas of comorbidity and challenging behaviors, respectively. Less variation occurred with changes in age in toddlers with non-ASD related atypical development. The implications of these results, as well as possible areas of future research, are discussed.

Date

2013

Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Matson, Johnny Lee

Included in

Psychology Commons

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