Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 48, Issue 11, pp 3926–3938 | Cite as

Training Physical Therapists in Early ASD Screening

  • Ayelet Ben-SassonEmail author
  • Osnat Atun-Einy
  • Gal Yahav-Jonas
  • Shimona Lev-On
  • Tali Gev
Original Paper


Physical therapists (PTs) are often one of the first professionals to evaluate children at risk. To examine the effect of an early screening training on pediatric PTs’: (1) knowledge of autism spectrum disorder (ASD), (2) clinical self-efficacy, and (3) identification of markers. Twenty-six PTs participated in a 2-day “Early ASD Screening” workshop. The ASD Knowledge and Self-Efficacy Questionnaire, and video case study analysis were completed pre- and post-training. Changes following training were significant for ASD knowledge related to etiology and learning performance, early signs, risk factors, and clinical self-efficacy. Rating the videoed case study after the training, was significantly more accurate than it was before. Training PTs is important for enhancing early identification of ASD.


Early screening ASD Physical therapy Training Knowledge Self-efficacy Healthcare providers 



We wish to thank Mrs. Malka Stoller, Head of Pediatric Physical Therapy Services, the Ministry of Health, Israel and Mrs. Danya Hofi head of the Physical Therapy School in Tel-Hashomer, Tel-Aviv University. This study was part of the third author's master thesis.

Author Contributions

AB and OA have made substantial contributions to conception, design, acquisition of data, analysis, and manuscript writing. GY was involved in the design and coordination of the workshop, data management, analysis and helped draft the manuscript. SL and TG participated in the acquisition of the data by delivering parts of the workshop and in revising the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

All authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the Ethical Standards of the Institutional and/or National Research Committee and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

Supplementary material

10803_2018_3668_MOESM1_ESM.docx (37 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 37 KB)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ayelet Ben-Sasson
    • 1
    Email author
  • Osnat Atun-Einy
    • 2
  • Gal Yahav-Jonas
    • 3
  • Shimona Lev-On
    • 4
  • Tali Gev
    • 5
  1. 1.Department of Occupational TherapyUniversity of HaifaHaifaIsrael
  2. 2.Department of Physical TherapyUniversity of HaifaHaifaIsrael
  3. 3.Association for Children at RiskTel AvivIsrael
  4. 4.Weinberg Child Development CenterSheba Tel-Hashomer HospitalRamat GanIsrael
  5. 5.Department of PsychologyBar-Ilan UniversityRamat GanIsrael

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