Comparison of Parent Questionnaires, Examiner-Led Assessment and Parents’ Concerns at 14 Months of Age as Indicators of Later Diagnosis of Autism.


Parents participating in a prospective longitudinal study of infants with older siblings with autism completed an autism screening questionnaire and were asked about any concerns relating to their child's development, and children were administered an interactive assessment conducted by a researcher at 14 months. Scores on the parent questionnaire were highest for children later diagnosed with autism. Parental concerns and scores from the examiner-led assessment distinguished children with later developmental difficulties (both autism and other developmental atypicalities) from those who were developing typically. Children about whom parents expressed concern scored higher on both the questionnaire and the interactive assessment than those without concerns. There were no significant associations between total or individual item scores from the questionnaire and interactive assessment.