Autism Detection in Early Childhood (ADEC): Reliability and Validity Data for a Level 2 Screening Tool for Autistic Disorder.

Yong Nah, Robyn Young, Neil Brewer, Genna Berlingeri

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    32 Citations (Scopus)


    The Autism Detection in Early Childhood (ADEC; Young, 2007) was developed as a Level 2 clinicianadministered autistic disorder (AD) screening tool that was time-efficient, suitable for children under 3 years, easy to administer, and suitable for persons with minimal training and experience with AD. A best estimate clinical Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (4th ed., text rev.; DSM-IV-TR; American Psychiatric Association, 2000) diagnosis of AD was made for 70 children using all available information and assessment results, except for the ADEC data. A screening study compared these children on the ADEC with 57 children with other developmental disorders and 64 typically developing children. Results indicated high internal consistency (α = .91). Interrater reliability and test-retest reliability of the ADEC were also adequate. ADEC scores reliably discriminated different diagnostic groups after controlling for nonverbal IQ and Vineland Adaptive Behavior Composite scores. Construct validity (using exploratory factor analysis) and concurrent validity using performance on the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (Lord et al., 2000), the Autism Diagnostic Interview-Revised (Le Couteur, Lord, & Rutter, 2003), and DSM-IV-TR criteria were also demonstrated. Signal detection analysis identified the optimal ADEC cutoff score, with the ADEC identifying all children who had an AD (N = 70, sensitivity = 1.0) but overincluding children with other disabilities (N = 13, specificity ranging from .74 to .90). Together, the reliability and validity data indicate that the ADEC has potential to be established as a suitable and efficient screening tool for infants with A.D.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)215-226
    Number of pages12
    JournalPsychological Assessment
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2014


    • ADEC
    • Early detection
    • Level 2 autism screening
    • Reliability
    • Validity


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