Identifying Robust Autism Indicators for Latino Children

Nicolas Linares-Orama, Katherine Miranda, Annette Romero


Objective: This study was aimed at identifying those items in the “Childhood Autism Rating Scale” (CARS) that are more robust indicators of the probable existence of an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in Latino children. Methods: CARS data from 53 randomly selected children, who were evaluated at the FILIUS Institute in San Juan, Puerto Rico, were analyzed. Individual scores of CARS items were compared against the final diagnosis for the presence or absence of an ASD in these children to determine the items with the highest positive correlation with the diagnosis. Results: This analysis yielded 4 CARS items with the highest positive correlations (listed in descending order from a highest to the lowest correlation): Item 2- Imitation; Item 1- Relating to People; Item 5- Object Use; and Item 4- Body Use. Conclusion: These data are used to recommend a simplified Latino ASD screening procedure that can be managed by pediatricians and other primary care givers (with a limited time and skills to screen children from Latino families) during routine care visits; this will assist them in making referrals for an ASD diagnostic evaluation, based on this screening.



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Published by the University of Puerto Rico Medical Sciences Campus
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