The contribution of sensory-regulatory markers to the accuracy of ASD screening at 12 months

Ayelet Ben-Sasson, Alice S. Carter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Screening tools for autism spectrum disorders (ASD) focus primarily on identifying early-emerging social-communication markers. This study's objective was to examine the predictive validity of the First Year Inventory (FYI) risk cutoffs, including the sensory-regulatory domain. Parents of 613 12-month infants completed the FYI, an ASD screening questionnaire. Norm-based FYI risk criteria with and without the sensory-regulatory domain were evaluated. Infants at social-communication risk (n = 10), at social-communication and sensory-regulatory risk (n = 19), and a subset of infants at no risk (n = 60) were followed at 13 and 30 months. Children were referred for further evaluation as needed. The FYI identified 60% of those with ASD, and 87.5% of those with other types of developmental problems at 30 months within the followed sample. Applying the FYI dual risk criteria led to higher specificity relative to mean risk and social risk alone. Infants with dual risk had the highest rate of persisting referral for evaluation. Infants with dual risk and those with only social risk had lower developmental scores particularly in the social-communication domain compared to those with no risk. Including sensory-regulatory markers in screening for ASD leads to the identification of children with persisting and pervasive clinical needs and reduces false positive rates.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)879-888
Number of pages10
JournalResearch in Autism Spectrum Disorders
Issue number7
StatePublished - 2013


  • ASD
  • Autism
  • Infants
  • Screening
  • Sensory-regulatory
  • Social-communication

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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