Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 38, Issue 6, pp 1003–1010 | Cite as

Screening for Autism in Young Children with Developmental Delay: An Evaluation of the Developmental Behaviour Checklist: Early Screen

  • K. M. Gray
  • B. J. Tonge
  • D. J. Sweeney
  • S. L. Einfeld
Original Paper


The ability to identify children who require specialist assessment for the possibility of autism at as early an age as possible has become a growing area of research. A number of measures have been developed as potential screening tools for autism. The reliability and validity of one of these measures for screening for autism in young children with developmental problems was evaluated. The parents of 207 children aged 20–51 months completed the Developmental Checklist-Early Screen (DBC-ES), prior to their child undergoing assessment. Good interrater agreement and internal consistency was found, along with significant correlations with a clinician completed measure of autism symptomatology. High sensitivity was found, with lower specificity for the originally proposed 17-item screening tool and a five-item version.


Screening Preschool children Developmental delay 



This research was supported by a National Health and Medical Research Council project grant (236834) to Dr Gray, Prof Tonge, and Prof Einfeld.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • K. M. Gray
    • 1
    • 2
  • B. J. Tonge
    • 2
  • D. J. Sweeney
    • 2
  • S. L. Einfeld
    • 3
    • 4
  1. 1.Centre for Developmental Psychiatry & Psychology, Child & Adolescent Mental Health ServiceMonash Medical CentreClaytonAustralia
  2. 2.Centre for Developmental Psychiatry and Psychology, School of Psychology, Psychiatry & Psychology MedicineMonash UniversityClaytonAustralia
  3. 3.School of PsychiatryUniversity of New South WalesSydneyAustralia
  4. 4.Faculty of Health SciencesUniversity of SydneySydneyAustralia

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