Early Detection of Autism Spectrum Disorders: Identifying Key Behaviors
Stephanie J. Simpson* and Erin L. Murley
Dr. Paula Cochran and Dr. Janet Gooch, Faculty Mentors
There is a pressing need for improvement of early detection of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). The purpose of this project was to review screening procedures for children birth to 3 yrs. with a focus on communication and development. The current screening protocol used at the Truman State University Speech and Hearing Clinic for Early Headstart (EH) infants and toddlers did not include items designed to identify ASD. It was anticipated that a closer look at nonverbal and social behaviors of young children might lead to new insights regarding early at-risk behaviors that signal the development of autism. An extensive review of the ASD literature revealed an overlap in key behaviors and characteristics in screening instruments developed to date. An original screening instrument was developed based on this literature. Student researchers applied the instrument to live and video recorded interactions with EH infants and toddlers. Results will be discussed.
Keywords: Early Detection, Autism, Communication Disorders, Infants, Toddlers, Early Headstart, Screening
Presentation Type: Oral Paper
Location: VH 1228