The Relationship Between Developmental Functioning and Screening Outcome for Autism Spectrum Disorder

  • W. Jason PetersEmail author
  • Johnny L. Matson


Because early intervention often leads to the best outcomes in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), it is important that these children are identified as early as possible. Therefore, exploration of tools that could be used to identify at-risk children at an early age is needed. Such a tool could assist health professionals and their decision about whether to refer an individual for a full diagnostic assessment for ASD. Several studies have demonstrated and supported the use of screening algorithms created from measures of developmental functioning. The purpose of the current study was to explore the relationship between a measure of developmental functioning and screening outcome in infants and toddlers screened for ASD. Participants were 13,781 infants and toddlers screened for ASD. Results demonstrated that the Battelle Developmental Inventory, Second Edition (BDI-2) Total Developmental Quotient and Domain scores were statistically significant predictors of screening outcome for both younger and older infants and toddlers. This suggests that the BDI-2 can be a useful tool in the screening of ASD among infants and toddlers seeking and/or receiving early intervention services.


Autism Autism spectrum disorder Developmental functioning Screening outcome 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Ethical Approval

Both the university's and state's institutional review boards approved this study prior to data collection. 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 participating individuals prior to data collection.

Conflict of Interest

One of the authors is a co-author of the Baby and Infant Screen for Children with aUtIsm Traits, which is owned and distributed through his wife’s company, Disability Consultants, LLC.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyLouisiana State UniversityBaton RougeUSA

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