Article| Volume 28, ISSUE 6, P507-515, November 2014

Findings and Implications of Developmental Screening for High-Risk Children Referred to a Tertiary Developmental Disability Center



      The primary goal of this article is to describe an intake process and results of screening for developmental and autism spectrum disorders in children referred to a tertiary center. A secondary analysis of abnormal screening results, demographic variables, and parental concerns of autism was conducted, along with a correlation analysis between developmental and autism-specific screening tools.


      A total of 379 children younger than 6 years were “prescreened” with the Ages and Stages Questionnaire-3 and the Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers or the Social Communication Questionnaire. Medical records were reviewed to identify demographic variables and parental primary concerns.


      In approximately 11% of participants who screened positive for autism, no parental concerns of autism were present. Medium effect size correlations were found between the failed autism screening tools and delays in two domains on the Ages and Stages Questionnaire-3.


      Clinical implications are addressed concerning diligent use of developmental and autism-specific rating scales to identify children at risk.

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      Therese L. Mathews, Assistant Professor, Munroe-Meyer Institute, Omaha, NE.


      Melissa Lynne King, Doctoral Student, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Munroe-Meyer Institute, Omaha, NE.


      Kevin A. Kupzyk, Assistant Professor, College of Nursing, Munroe-Meyer Institute, Omaha, NE.


      Candice M. Lake, Clinical Supervisor, Wedgwood Christian Services, Grand Rapids, MI.