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Who We Are | Concerns About a Child | Screening | Diagnosis & Treatment

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Recommended Screening Tools

First Signs has conducted an extensive review of current screening tools available and have selected several that meet our recommendation criteria. All are highly validated, brief, and easy to use and score.

These include:

Developmental and Behavioral Screening Tools: (Birth to 36 Months)1

Most developmental and behavioral screening tools have a wide application with children of varying ages, allow flexibility to capture parent report with minimal assistance, ask less threatening and more universal questions of parents, and coordinate with hallmark developmental milestones. Because of their broad use, developmental and behavioral tools often lack the sensitivity to screen specifically for autism and therefore require follow up with an autism screening tool when a developmental screening raises concerns.

To order one of the following developmental or behavioral screening tools through the publisher, click on the links below.

Ages and Stages Questionnaire (ASQ-3)
by Jane Squires, Ph.D. & Diane Bricker, Ph.D. et al.
(for children 1-66 months)

Ages and Stages Questionnaire: Social-Emotional (ASQ:SE)
by Jane Squires, Ph.D. & Diane Bricker, Ph.D. & Elizabeth Twombly, M.S.
(for children 6-60 months)

Brief-Infant-Toddler Social-Emotional Assessment (BITSEA)
by Margaret Briggs-Gowan, Ph.D. and Alice Carter, Ph.D.
(for children 12-36 months)

Child Development Inventory
by Harold Ireton, Ph.D. et al.
(for children 0-6 years)

CSBS DP Infant-Toddler Checklist
by Amy Wetherby, Ph.D. & Barry Prizant, Ph.D.
(for children 6-24 months)

Parents Evaluation of Developmental Status (PEDS)
by Frances Page Glascoe, Ph.D.
(for children 0-8 years)

  • PEDS Online (Note: M-CHAT Online is administered following the PEDS when the child being screened is between 15 and 59 months)

Parents Evaluation of Developmental Status-Developmental Milestones (PEDS:DM)
by Frances Page Glascoe, Ph.D.
(for children 0-8 years)

Temperament and Atypical Behavior Scale (TABS)
by Stephen J. Bagnato, Ed.D., John T. Neisworth, Ph.D., et al.
(for children 11-71 months)

Social-Emotional Growth Chart
by Stanley I. Greenspan, MD
(for children 0-42 months)

Autism Screening Tools: (Birth to 36 Months)2

Most autism screening tools are designed to detect autism spectrum disorders specifically, concentrate on social and communication impairment in children 18 months of age and older, and focus on all three DSM-IV criteria for autism. Their limitations lie in the lack of highly validated autism screening tools available for children under 18 months of age. Since autism screening ideally would follow a developmental screening that has indicated concerns, the administering clinician should directly observe the child in addition to using an autism screening tool questionnaire.

To obtain the following autism screening tool, click on the link below.

Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers (M-CHAT)
by Diana Robins, M.A., Deborah Fein, Ph.D., et al.
(for children 16-30 months)

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Asperger Syndrome/HFA Screening Tools: (4 years to adult)3

Most Asperger Syndrome/high functioning autism (HFA) screening tools are designed for use with older children, and are used to differentiate these disorders from other autism spectrum disorders and/or other developmental disorders, such as mental retardation and language delays. These tools concentrate on social and behavioral impairment in children four years of age and older (up to adulthood), who usually develop without significant language delay. Qualitatively, these tools are quite different from the early childhood screening tools, highlighting more social/conversational and perseverative/behavioral concerns.

To order one of the following Asperger Syndrome screening tools through the publisher, click on the links below.

Autism Spectrum Screening Questionnaire (ASSQ)
by Stephen Ehlers, Ph.D., Christopher Gillberg, Ph.D., Lorna Wing, Ph.D. (Published in 1999 in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 29,129-141)
(for children 7-16)

Social Communication Questionnaire (SCQ)
by Catherine Lord, Ph.D., Sir Michael Rutter, Ph.D., et al.
(for children 4 and older)

First Signs has provided a link to the following Asperger/HFA screening tool. To obtain, click on the link below.

Australian Scale for Asperger Syndrome (ASAS)
by Michelle Garnett, M. Clinical Psychology, Anthony Attwood, Ph.D.
(for children 5 and older)

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1, 2, 3 All developmental, autism, and Asperger/HFA screening tools have been reviewed against First Signs selection criteria.

Please revisit this Web section in the future as we expand our list of disorders and related screening tools.


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Last update: 03/13/14
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