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A possible role of the Infant/Toddler Sensory Profile in screening for autism: a proof-of-concept study in the specific sample of prematurely born children with birth weights <1,500 g

Authors Beranova S, Stoklasa J, Dudova I, Markova D, Kasparova M, Zemankova J, Urbanek T, Talasek T, Luukka P, Hrdlicka M

Received 23 September 2016

Accepted for publication 23 November 2016

Published 23 January 2017 Volume 2017:13 Pages 191—200

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/NDT.S123066

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Papan Thaipisuttikul

Peer reviewer comments 4

Editor who approved publication: Dr Roger Pinder


Stepanka Beranova,1 Jan Stoklasa,2 Iva Dudova,1 Daniela Markova,3 Martina Kasparova,4 Jana Zemankova,5 Tomas Urbanek,6 Tomas Talasek,2 Pasi Luukka,7 Michal Hrdlicka1

1Department of Child Psychiatry, Charles University Second Faculty of Medicine and University Hospital Motol, Prague, 2Department of Applied Economics, Faculty of Arts, Palacky University, Olomouc, 3Department of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, Charles University First Faculty of Medicine and General University Hospital, Prague, 4Department of Pediatrics, Charles University Second Faculty of Medicine and University Hospital Motol, Prague, 5Department of Pediatrics, Charles University Faculty of Medicine and University Hospital, Hradec Kralove, 6Institute of Psychology, Academy of Sciences, Brno, Czech Republic; 7Laboratory of Applied Mathematics, Lappeenranta University of Technology, Lappeenranta, Finland

Objective: The objective of this study was to explore the potential of the Infant/Toddler Sensory Profile (ITSP) as a screening tool for autism spectrum disorders (ASD) in prematurely born children.
Methods: Parents of 157 children with birth weights <1,500 g (aged 2 years, corrected for prematurity; 88 boys, 69 girls) completed a screening battery that included the ITSP, Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers (M-CHAT), and the Communication and Symbolic Behavior Scales Developmental Profile Infant-Toddler Checklist (CSBS-DP-ITC). Children with known disabilities were excluded. All the children who were screened positive on any of the screening tools subsequently underwent clinical examination including the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule.
Results: We used classification trees to answer the question whether ITSP (or some of its subscales) could be combined with the M-CHAT and/or the CSBS-DP-ITC or its subscales into an effective ASD screening tool. Using the CSBS-DP-ITC, overall score, and the Sensation Seeking subscale of the ITSP, we obtained a screening tool that was able to identify all of the ASD children in our sample (confirmed by cross-validation). The proposed screening tool is scored as follows: 1) if the overall CSBS-DP-ITC value is <45.5, then the screening is positive; 2) if the overall CSBS-DP-ITC value is ≥45.5 and the z-score of the Sensation Seeking subscale of ITSP is ≥1.54, then the screening is positive; 3) otherwise, the screening is negative.
Conclusion: The use of CSBS-DP-ITC in combination with the Sensation Seeking subscale of the ITSP improved the accuracy of autism screening in preterm children.

Keywords: autism spectrum disorders, preterm children, screening, Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers, Communication and Symbolic Behavior Scales Developmental Profile Infant-Toddler Checklist, Infant/Toddler Sensory Profile

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