Identifying Autism Spectrum Disorder in a Clinical Sample of Preschool-Aged Children Using the BASC-3 Parent Rating Scales




Duley, Savanna S.

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The Behavior Assessment System for Children, Third Edition (BASC-3) is a broadband behavioral rating scale commonly used in medical and educational settings to assess a variety of emotional and behavioral difficulties in preschool age children. The DSD content scale on the BASC is intended to measure impairments in a child's social skills, communication, interests, and activities. Use of the scale has been suggested to improve early identification efforts in the areas of developmental screening and diagnosis of autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Previous research investigating the DSD scale reported evidence for the scale's ability to aid in the identification of preschoolers with developmental delays, and discriminate between children diagnosed with ASDs, other diagnoses, and those who were typically developing; however the DSD scale has not been re-validated in clinical preschool populations using the updated BASC edition, the BASC-3. The current study examined whether T-Scores on the DSD content scale on BASC-3 Parent Rating Scales, Preschool Form could identify preschool-aged children diagnosed with an ASD and meaningfully differentiate these children from those diagnosed with other developmental delays. DSD T-Scores were generated for each participant using several different normative scoring comparison groups and compared across scoring methods to fully examine the utility of the DSD scale specific to a clinical sample. Results indicated that the DSD scale was able to effectively identify and confirm the presence of symptoms related to developmental social disorders among all participants; however, the scale was unable to distinguish between preschoolers diagnosed with ASD versus those with other developmental delays.

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