Parents are desperate to know their child’s prognosis and what they can do to maximize chances of a good outcome
There have been assumptions made that contextual factors do not influence the development of ASD children and these may be incorrect when considering trajectories of behavioural adjustment and family well-being
It is possible to identify contextual factors that are potentially modifiable (e.g., parent-child interactions, processes of care, etc.) that could have a major impact on what services are required and on how service delivery should be accomplished.
The primary outcomes were child centred, so we looked at their social competence, communication, behavior adjustment, and adaptive functioning. The secondary outcome was family well-being, so the investigators looked at child, family, school, intervention, service, and community factors.
The investigators chose the following tests and scales for use in each of the study periods.
Social competence: Parent and teacher Vineland Adaptive Behaviour Scale (VABS) Socialization score, parent and teacher ratings of prosocial behaviour from the National Longitudinal Survey of Children and Youth (NLSCY) and social reciprocity items from the ADOS.
Behaviour adjustment: Disruptive behaviour scales of the parent and teacher versions of CBCL 1.5 to 5 year old version (to provide standardized comparisons) and specific measures of maladaptive behaviour for developmentally disabled children (the total score of the VABS maladaptive scale and the Aberrant Behaviour Checklist).
Communication: Rating scales of pragmatic communication derived from the Children’s Communication Checklist, communication items from the ADOS and the VABS Communication score.
Adaptive functioning: measured using the parent and teacher versions of VABS Daily Living Skills scale and the Preschool Lifestyle Inventory.
Family well-being: composed of parental mental health as measured by the SCL90 filled out by both parents, family cohesiveness measured by the Family Relations Questionnaire from the Ontario Child Heath Study, and care-giver strain measured by the Parenting Stress Index and the Caregiver Strain Questionnaire.
Our published findings and our analyses supported a major shift in the way we understood and measured ASD symptoms in childhood. Instead of specific symptoms that present early and stay relatively unchanged over time, we found that ASD might be better understood as a complex, dynamic disorder, that can vary in individuals over time, and can also differ among groups of individuals. This highlights the importance of developing ASD interventions that are delivered as early as possible, and that are diverse, flexible, and sensitive enough to meet the needs of children with ASD who follow different developmental pathways.
Investigating the Measurement Properties of the Social Responsiveness Scale in Preschool Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (Duku et al., 2013)
Aim: To assess the measurement properties of the Social Responsiveness Scale with complementary analysis approaches in preschool children with ASD
Results: Subset of Social Responsiveness Scale shown to be appropriate in measuring social responsiveness in preschool children with ASD
Validating the Repetitive Behavior Scale-Revised in Young Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (Mirenda et al., 2010)
Aim: To examine validity of Repetitive Behavior Scale-Revised in preschool children with ASD
Results: Repetitive Behavior Scale-Revised shown to be useful tool for young children with ASD