Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 37, Issue 9, pp 1691–1710 | Cite as

A Parent-Report Instrument for Identifying One-Year-Olds at Risk for an Eventual Diagnosis of Autism: The First Year Inventory

  • J. Steven  Reznick
  • Grace T. Baranek
  • Shaye Reavis
  • Linda R. Watson
  • Elizabeth R. Crais
Original paper


A parent-report instrument, the First Year Inventory (FYI), was developed to assess behaviors in 12-month-old infants that suggest risk for an eventual diagnosis of autism. The target behaviors were identified from retrospective and prospective studies. FYIs were mailed to 5,941 families and 25% (N = 1,496) were returned, with higher return rates for white families and for families with greater educational attainment. Ad hoc groups of questions afforded measurement of eight specific constructs, which were combined to establish a general risk index. Boys had higher risk scores than did girls. Maternal race and education influenced answers. A small percentage of infants appeared to be at notably elevated risk. Large-scale longitudinal research is warranted to determine whether the FYI can predict an eventual diagnosis of autism.


Autistic symptoms; Early infant screening Social-communication Sensory-regulatory functions 



Partial funding for this research was provided by grants from UNC’s University Research Council, the Cure Autism Now Foundation, the National Institute of Child Heath and Human Development (#R01-HD42168), and support from the Behavioral Measurement Core of the UNC Neurodevelopmental Disorders Research Center. The authors extend their gratitude to Elizabeth Misiti and Katrina Walker for their help with printing, mailing, and data entry. We are also extremely grateful to the families who generously donated their time to this project.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. Steven  Reznick
    • 1
  • Grace T. Baranek
    • 2
  • Shaye Reavis
    • 3
  • Linda R. Watson
    • 4
  • Elizabeth R. Crais
    • 4
  1. 1.Psychology DepartmentUniversity of North CarolinaChapel HillUSA
  2. 2.Division of Occupational Science, School of MedicineUniversity of North CarolinaChapel HillUSA
  3. 3.Psychology DepartmentUniversity of North CarolinaChapel HillUSA
  4. 4.Division of Speech and Hearing Sciences, School of MedicineUniversity of North CarolinaChapel HillUSA

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