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The Usefulness of the DBC-ASA as a Screening Instrument for Autism in Children with Intellectual Disabilities: A Pilot Study

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Aims 

To explore the validity of Developmental Behaviour Checklist-Autism Screening Algorithm (DBC-ASA) as a screening instrument for autism among children with intellectual disabilities. Method 

Data were collected from the case notes of 109 children with intellectual disabilities attending a specialist clinic in the UK. Results 

The mean score of the DBC-ASA was significantly higher (t = 6.1; P < 0.001) among children with autism compared with those without. The DBC-ASA score of 20 yielded a sensitivity of 0.9 and specificity of 0.6, and a score of 18 yielded a sensitivity of 0.92 and specificity of 0.5. The receiver–operating characteristic for the DBC-ASA score of 20 yielded a large area under the curve (AUC) (0.864) for children with intellectual disabilities when compared against the International Classification of Diseases 10th Revision, Research Diagnostic Criteria (ICD10 DRC) diagnosis of autism. Conclusions 

The DBC-ASA score may be able to discriminate between children with intellectual disabilities with and without autism.
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Keywords: autism screening; intellectual disabilities; questionnaire

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: College of Medical and Dental Sciences, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK 2: The Greenfields Unit, South Birmingham PCT, Birmingham, UK

Publication date: September 1, 2009

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