A two-minute questionnaire for parents developed by researchers at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School in Newark could help pediatricians diagnose autism in toddlers. In children with autism, early diagnosis and intervention is often crucial to improve outcomes.
In a recent study published in the Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics, this questionnaire – called the Psychological Development Questionnaire (PDQ-1) – correctly identified children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) in 88 percent of cases. The study involved 1,959 children between 18 and 36 months of age with no known developmental problems.
According to researchers from Rutgers, children who scored low on the PDQ-1 were considered “at risk” for autism and underwent further screening. Questions posed to parents in the questionnaire include: Does your child point or gesture to show interest or get attention? Does your child respond to his or her name? And, does your child enjoy playing peek-a-boo?