In recent years there has been a significant rise in the recognition of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in children and youth. Children are considered those whose ages are from 2 to 5 years, while youth ages range from 6 to 18 years. Due to this rise, a correlating increase in the risk of over-diagnosis as well as under-diagnosis of children and youth has occurred. Considering that misdiagnosis could significantly affect a child’s future health and well-being, it is extremely important that the risk of misdiagnosis be restricted.
A Valuable Solution
The Autism Spectrum Rating Scales (ASRS) are a valuable solution to those who are pursuing a better understanding of how to diagnose and treat children and youth diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder. This diagnostic tool will better help parents, childcare workers, and teachers in their efforts to treat these children with a caring and effective program.
It is of vital importance that the system used to diagnose children and youth be reliable. To attribute a wrong diagnosis to a child on the Autism Spectrum would inhibit their chance of living and learning to their fullest capacity. Fortunately, the Autism Spectrum Rating Scales have been clinically demonstrated to be internally consistent and test-retest reliable.
What this means is that an item on the scale has been found to measure in a consistent and reliable manner to other items on the same scale. When these are assessed their levels of consistency were found to be high. Also, this system was proved more reliable by the fact that when an assessment of a child’s ratings was tested on two different occasions, the scores were compatible.
The System’s Contents
The ASRS includes two different forms for diagnosis. Each of these forms is broken down into two variants, one for children ranging in age from 2 to 5 years and one for youth ranging in age from 6 to 18 years.
The first form is the full-length ASRS form which is comprised of 70 items for children and 71 items for youth. It is this form that is recommended for the initial evaluation of the child or youth and for subsequent reevaluations. The full-length form has separate ratings for parents and for teachers so that a full and comprehensive understanding of the child’s or youth’s diagnosis may be formed.
The second form of this diagnostic system is the ASRS short form. This form is suggested for use when monitoring the treatment of the child or youth and for intervention. Parents and teachers use the same 15 items contained in this form and it is optimally used to determine if a child or youth will need any further evaluation or services. The short form is effective for ongoing assessment of the effectiveness of treatment, but the long-form should be used periodically for more rigorous evaluation.
All in all, the ASRS is a comprehensive system that uses the best studies around and prepares the people who know and care the most for the child on the Autism Spectrum.
For more information about ASRS, visit WPS Publish online.