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Archived News: In Research and Intervention
June 2011

New Research Assesses the Accuracy and Implications of Tools to Evaluate Fidelity of a Specific Intervention Strategies.

In a May issue of Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, Hume, et al., from the University of Miami, summarize their findings as they conclude the first phase of a four-year project to analyze and compare preschool programs for young children with ASD. The goal of this particular phase of the research was to develop and validate assessment measures designed to measure the degree to which interventions were being implemented as intended. The authors suggest that this is a key first step in determining effectiveness of an intervention or evaluating the efficacy of particular intervention strategies for specific children.

More information:

Assessing implementation of comprehensive treatment models for young children with ASD: Reliability and validity of two measures


Researchers from UC Davis Health System look at correlations between month of conception and risk of ASD.

In an article “Month of Conception and Risk of Autism,” published in a May issue of Epidemiology, Zerbo, et al, examined birth records for over seven million children both in California during the 1990’s and early 2000’s. Among the children included in the study, those conceived during winter had a significantly greater risk of autism, the study found. The risk of having a child with an autism spectrum disorder grew progressively throughout the fall and winter to early spring, with children conceived in March having a 16 percent greater risk of later autism diagnoses, when compared with July conceptions. Seasonal environmental variables are being considered as a possible cause for these trends.


Screening tool for infants and toddlers 12-24 months of age shows promise in recent study.

A study published in an April issue of the Journal of Pediatrics, suggests that the Communication and Symbolic Behavior Scales Developmental Profile (CSBS-DP) Infant-Toddler Checklist is a promising screening tool for pediatricians. In this study, over 10,000 children were screened using this 24-question test as a part of the child’s one year old checkup. The results are said to be around 75% accurate, offering an efficient and easy way for parents, doctors and caregivers to detect autism at an early age. Although this tool does not lead to a definitive diagnosis, it will help parents and doctors look carefully at young children in key areas of development, allowing the opportunity for earlier intervention services to begin.

More information:

Article Abstract


Yale Study of ASD in South Korea Suggest Higher Rates of Prevalence than Previously Reported

A study in the American Journal of Psychiatry, Prevalence in Autism Spectrum Disorder in a Total Population Sample, found rates within their sample to be 2.6%, over twice the rate of other recent studies. This study, conducted in a community in South Korea, used a different method than other prevalence studies. Other studies have examined records (from doctors and special education agencies) of existing cases, leading to potentially excluding cases in which additional services or diagnoses have not been sought. The current study screened a large population of children, ages 7-12. Thus, children were included who had not previously been identified. Other experts suggest that more “population based” studies could help further determine the true prevalence of the disability.

More information:

American Journal of Psychiatry Abstract


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