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Author: Diana L Robins (36)


Dec
2017

To study the at-risk rate for Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) on a parent-report questionnaire in toddlers between the ages of 16-24 months.
6237 toddlers from Kerala, India selected by cluster random sampling were surveyed by community nurses using the Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers - Revised (M-CHAT-R) translated to Malayalam and culturally adapted.
5.

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Nov
2017

Racial differences in parent report of concerns about their child's development to healthcare providers may contribute to delayed autism spectrum disorder diagnoses in Black children. We tested the hypotheses that compared to White parents, Black parents of children with autism spectrum disorder would report fewer concerns about autism symptoms and would be more likely to report concerns about disruptive behaviors. A sample of 18- to 40-month-old toddlers ( N = 174) with autism spectrum disorder and their parent participated.

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Oct
2017

This study provides an expanded view of joint attention and its relation to expressive language development. A total of 144 toddlers (40 typically developing, 58 with autism spectrum disorder [ASD], 46 with developmental delay [DD]) participated at 24 and 31 months. Toddlers who screened positive for ASD risk, especially those subsequently diagnosed with ASD, had poorer joint attention skills, joint engagement during parent-toddler interaction, and expressive language.

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Sep
2017

Despite advances in autism screening practices, challenges persist, including barriers to implementing universal screening in primary care and difficulty accessing services. The high false positive rate of Level 1 screening methods presents especially daunting difficulties because it increases the need for comprehensive autism evaluations. This study explored whether two-tiered screening-combining Level 1 (Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers, Revised with Follow-Up) and Level 2 (Screening Tool for Autism in Toddlers and Young Children) measures-improves the early detection of autism.

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Dec
2017

Theory of mind (ToM) gradually develops during the preschool years. Measures of ToM usually target visual experience, but auditory experiences also provide valuable social information. Given differences between the visual and auditory modalities (e.

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Feb
2017

Most intranasal oxytocin research to date has been carried out in men, but recent studies indicate that females' responses can differ substantially from males'. This randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study involved an all-female sample of 28 women not using hormonal contraception. Participants viewed animations of geometric shapes depicting either random movement or social interactions such as playing, chasing, or fighting.

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Dec
1969

Whereas a number of studies have examined relationships among brain activity, social cognitive skills, and autistic traits, fewer studies have evaluated whether structural connections among brain regions relate to these traits and skills. Uncinate fasciculus (UF) and inferior longitudinal fasciculus (ILF) are white matter tracts that may underpin the behavioral expression of these skills because they connect regions within or provide sensory information to brain areas implicated in social cognition, and structural differences in these tracts have been associated with autistic traits. We examined relationships among self-reported autistic traits, mentalizing, and water diffusivity in UF and ILF in a nonclinical sample of 24 young adults (mean age = 21.

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Sep
2016

Data from a toddler screening study were used to examine: (1) categories of concerns regarding the development of their child reported by parents prior to diagnostic evaluation, (2) congruence of parent concerns with their child's later diagnosis, (3) the extent to which parent concern(s) were associated with the therapies their child received and types of specialists consulted, and (4) the association between the number of parental concern categories and clinical measures.
Toddlers who screened positive for autism spectrum disorder (ASD) during well-child checkups received a diagnostic evaluation and parents completed a history questionnaire (n = 532; 274 ASD, 258 non-ASD). Parents' concerns about their child's development, therapy received, and specialists consulted were coded into discrete categories.

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Aug
2016

This study documents the relation between an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) diagnosis, increases in intervention, and changes in parent-child interaction quality. Information about intervention and observations of interaction were collected before diagnosis and a half year after diagnosis for 79 low-risk toddlers who had screened positive for ASD risk during a well-baby checkup. Children diagnosed with ASD (n = 44) were 2.

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Feb
2017

Early identification of toddlers and preschool-aged children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is important for ensuring that these youth receive targeted early intervention services. Identifying young children with ASD is complicated by overlap among symptoms of ASD and other developmental delays. Additionally, youth with ASD have a higher risk of experiencing co-occurring challenging behaviors that are beyond the diagnostic criteria for ASD (e.

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Dec
1969

Although for many children, Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a lifelong disability, a subset of children with ASD lose their diagnosis and show typical cognitive and adaptive abilities. The ages at which this transition can occur is not known, but it sometimes occurs quite early. Participants in the current study were 207 children with an ASD at age two who were reevaluated at age four.

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Sep
2016

Screening toddlers for autism spectrum disorder (ASD) with the Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers, Revised (M-CHAT-R) has been shown to lower age of diagnosis by 2 years. In order to streamline ASD screening, research is exploring the use of web-based screening during well-child checkups. The current study examined implementation of the web-based M-CHAT-R in an urban pediatric clinic in Atlanta, Georgia.

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Oct
2015

This article reviews current evidence for autism spectrum disorder (ASD) screening based on peer-reviewed articles published to December 2013. Screening provides a standardized process to ensure that children are systematically monitored for early signs of ASD to promote earlier diagnosis. The current review indicates that screening in children aged 18 to 24 months can assist in early detection, consistent with current American Academy of Pediatrics' recommendations.

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Feb
2016

Children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) imitate less than typically developing (TD) children; however, the specific features and causes of this deficit are still unclear. The current study investigates the role of joint engagement, specifically children's visual attention to demonstrations, in an object-directed imitation task. This sample was recruited from an early ASD screening study, which allows for an examination of these behaviors prior to formal diagnosis and ASD-specific intervention.

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Jun
2015

Parents (n = 11,845) completed the Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers (or its latest revision) at pediatric visits. Using sociodemographic predictors of maternal education and race, binary logistic regressions were utilized to examine differences in autism screening, diagnostic evaluation participation rates and outcomes, and reasons for non-participation. Families of lower maternal education and racial minorities exhibited inflated initial screen positive rates and lower participation at Follow-Up, although not at the evaluation.

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Jun
2015

Routine, standardized screening for autism spectrum disorder (ASD) has been hypothesized to reduce known racial/ethnic and socioeconomic status (SES) disparities in age of first diagnosis. This study explored demographic differences in toddlers' age and performance on developmental measures at the time of ASD assessment.
Toddlers (16-39 months at evaluation) who screened at-risk for developmental delay on the Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers (M-CHAT) or M-CHAT-Revised (M-CHAT-R) and follow-up interview participated in a diagnostic assessment.

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Jan
2014

This study validates the Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers, Revised with Follow-up (M-CHAT-R/F), a screening tool for low-risk toddlers, and demonstrates improved utility compared with the original M-CHAT.
Toddlers (N = 16,071) were screened during 18- and 24-month well-child care visits in metropolitan Atlanta and Connecticut. Parents of toddlers at risk on M-CHAT-R completed follow-up; those who continued to show risk were evaluated.

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Jan
2015

Cognitive functioning has historically been used to predict adaptive outcomes of people with autism spectrum disorders; however, research shows that it is not a complete predictor. The current study explored whether emotion perception was a predictor of adaptive outcomes, and more specifically, hypothesized that emotion perception (Diagnostic Analysis of Nonverbal Accuracy-2 error scores) would mediate adaptive functioning of people with autism spectrum disorder (Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales, Second Edition). People with autism spectrum disorders demonstrated significantly lower adaptive functioning and emotion perception skills compared to typically developing individuals.

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Jul
2013

We examined facial electromyography (fEMG) activity to dynamic, audio-visual emotional displays in individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and typically developing (TD) individuals. Participants viewed clips of happy, angry, and fearful displays that contained both facial expression and affective prosody while surface electrodes measured corrugator supercilli and zygomaticus major facial muscle activity. Across measures of average and peak activity, the TD group demonstrated emotion-selective fEMG responding, with greater relative activation of the zygomatic to happy stimuli and greater relative activation of the corrugator to fearful stimuli.

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May
2013

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) diagnosis is based on behavioral presentation; changes in conceptual models or defining behaviors may significantly impact diagnosis and uptake of ASD-specific interventions. The literature examining impact of DSM-5 criteria is equivocal. Toddlers may be especially vulnerable to the stringent requirements of impairment in all three social-communication symptoms and two restricted/repetitive symptoms.

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Apr
2013

The purpose of the study was to examine use of the Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers (M-CHAT) as an autism-specific screening instrument in a large, geographically diverse pediatrics-based sample.
The M-CHAT and the M-CHAT Follow-Up (M-CHAT/F) were used to screen 18,989 toddlers at pediatric well-child visits in 2 US geographic regions. Pediatricians directly referred children to ascertain potential missed screening cases.

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Feb
2014

The goals of our study were to (a) compare agreement between autism spectrum disorder diagnosis and outcome of the Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers and Parents Evaluation of Developmental Status in a sample of toddlers and (b) examine specific concerns noted for toddlers who screened negative on the Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers or Parents Evaluation of Developmental Status but were later diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. Participants were administered the Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers and Parents Evaluation of Developmental Status during well-child visits. Families were invited for a clinical evaluation if autism spectrum disorder symptoms were noted on the Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers and Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers Follow-Up Interview or if autism spectrum disorder concerns were noted by the pediatrician.

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Sep
2013

Records-based autism spectrum disorder surveillance developed at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has been extended to younger cohorts, although the utility of additional record sources has not been examined. We therefore conducted a pilot project to describe whether Centers for Disease Control and Prevention surveillance could identify younger children with an autism spectrum disorder evaluated as part of an ongoing screening study at Georgia State University.
In all, 31 families of children who screened positive for autism spectrum disorder and received a clinical evaluation at Georgia State University agreed to participate in the project.

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Feb
2012

We examined whether clinically distinct subgroups can be derived from a sample of toddlers (n = 186) who failed the Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers, received a comprehensive clinical evaluation, and were diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Three subgroups emerged from cluster analysis distinguished by (a) social, communication, and intellectual skills and (b) the rate and intensity of repetitive behaviors and abnormal sensory response. Preoccupations, compulsions, and rituals did not distinguish resultant subgroups.

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Jul
2009

The purpose of this study was to explore the sensory profile of young children with ASD compared to young children with other developmental delays (DD) at first ASD assessment. Results found that young children with ASD had more tactile and taste/smell sensitivities and difficulties with auditory filtering than young children with other DD. Moreover, sensory scores were significantly correlated with stereotyped interests and behaviors.

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Mar
2009

Perception of emotion is critical for successful social interaction, yet the neural mechanisms underlying the perception of dynamic, audio-visual emotional cues are poorly understood. Evidence from language and sensory paradigms suggests that the superior temporal sulcus and gyrus (STS/STG) play a key role in the integration of auditory and visual cues. Emotion perception research has focused on static facial cues; however, dynamic audio-visual (AV) cues mimic real-world social cues more accurately than static and/or unimodal stimuli.

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Sep
2008

The need for autism-specific screening during pediatric well-child visits has been established. However, additional support for specific screening instruments is needed. The current study used the Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers (M-CHAT) and the M-CHAT Follow-Up Interview to screen 4797 children during toddler checkups.

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Sep
2008

The Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers (M-CHAT) was used to screen younger (16-23 months) versus older (24-30 months) high- and low-risk toddlers. Refusal rates for follow-up interview showed no group differences, but parents of younger/low-risk children were more likely to refuse evaluation than parents of high-risk children. PPP for an ASD diagnosis was: younger/high-risk 0.

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Apr
2008

Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) diagnosis in very young children may be delayed due to doubts about validity. In this study, 77 children received a diagnostic and developmental evaluation between 16 and 35 months and also between 42 and 82 months. Diagnoses based on clinical judgment, Childhood Autism Rating Scale, and the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule were stable over time.

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May
2008

Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) often go undetected in toddlers. The Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers (M-CHAT) was used to screen 3,793 children aged 16-30 months from low- and high-risk sources; screen positive cases were diagnostically evaluated. Rescreening was performed on 1,416 children aged 42-54 months.

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May
2008

Past research shows poor agreement between the Autism Diagnostic Interview-Revised (ADI-R) and other diagnostic measures in toddlers. Our goal was to examine whether exclusion of the ADI-R behavioral domain results in improved diagnostic agreement. Toddlers aged 16-37 months (M = 26 months) received an evaluation because they failed the Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers (n = 142).

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Jan
2007

A diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is usually taken to be permanent. In this study, 13 two-year-old children with ASD lost the diagnosis by age 4, at which time they scored within the normal range on standardized measures of cognitive and adaptive functioning. No differences were found in symptom severity, socialization, or communication between children who lost the ASD diagnosis and children who did not, but children with PDD-NOS were significantly more likely than those with full autistic disorder to move off the spectrum.

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Apr
2006

Early intervention for autism spectrum disorders necessitates early detection. This need has led to widespread agreement across disciplines that screening is critical in very young children. Two screening issues are highlighted in this review.

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Sep
2005

The authors contrasted 2 potential explanations for the cognitive control deficits observed in closed head injury (CHI): a prepotent response inhibition deficit or a deficit in context maintenance, defined as the guidance of appropriate responding by task-relevant information. Healthy and CHI participants performed the traditional card Stroop task and a single-trial Stroop task sensitive to context maintenance deficits. As predicted by a context maintenance deficit, moderate to severe CHI participants showed higher error rates in the single-trial Stroop task only, and only when task instructions had to be maintained over a long delay.

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