Title: Rapid quantitative assessment of autistic social impairment by classroom teachers.
Study Authors: Constantino, John N; LaVesser, Patrica D; Zhang, Yi; Abbacchi, Anna M; Gray, Teddi; Todd, Richard D.
Source: Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry. Vol 46(12) Dec 2007, 1668-1676.

A very interesting study about the ability of teachers and parents to correctly identify autism symptoms in children when using a specific guide. The researchers had teachers, parents, and expert clinicians assess a total of 577 children. Of these 406 had a diagnosis of PDD, Asperger’s, or Autism. The parents and teachers used the Social Responsiveness Scale (SRS) to guide their own assessments. The clinicians used the ADI or the ADOS. The researchers (I should disclosed these researchers are the creators of the Social Responsiveness Scale) found that when the parents and teachers assessments using the SRS are combined, this combined assessment is very similar, in regards to its ability to identify symptoms, to the results from the formal clinician ADI or ADOS evaluation. In addition, teachers reports provided similar information as that provided by the ADOS. The implication is that under conditions where resources are limited, the SRS responses from teachers and parents can provide the child’s clinicians with very useful information, specially in the absence of a full ADOS assessment. The researchers correctly state that this does not mean that a full assessment is not necessary, but that the SRS provides an alternative for when an ADOS is not possible. Most parents know that it is sometimes difficult to find clinicians that are certified to use the ADOS, and sometimes these evaluations are prohibitively expensive when not covered by insurance.

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