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1.  Visual Scanning in Very Young Children with Autism and Their Unaffected Parents 
Autism Research and Treatment  2012;2012:748467.
This study of gaze patterns in very young children with autism and their parents included 23 cases (with 16 fathers and 19 mothers) and 46 controls (with 14 fathers and 28 mothers). Children (mean age 3.3 ± 1.5 years) with autism met DSM-IV and ADOS-G diagnostic criteria. The participants' gaze patterns were recorded while they viewed four simple movies that did not feature people. In children, severity of autism is related to spending more time watching irrelevant regions in one of the four movies. The mothers of children with autism showed an atypical pattern for three movies, whereas the fathers of children with autism did not show an atypical gaze pattern. The gaze pattern of the mothers was positively correlated with that of their children. The atypical viewing pattern of autistic individuals appears not to be restricted to people and social situations but is also seen in other situations, suggesting that there is a perceptual broad autism phenotype.
doi:10.1155/2012/748467
PMCID: PMC3420630  PMID: 22937259
2.  Standardized ADOS Scores: Measuring Severity of Autism Spectrum Disorders in a Dutch Sample 
The validity of the calibrated severity scores on the ADOS as reported by Gotham et al. (J Autism Dev Disord 39: 693–705, 2009), was investigated in an independent sample of 1248 Dutch children with 1455 ADOS administrations (modules 1, 2 and 3). The greater comparability between ADOS administrations at different times, ages and in different modules, as reached by Gotham et al. with the calibrated severity measures, seems to be corroborated by the current study for module 1 and to a lesser extent for module 3. For module 2, the calibrated severity scores need to be further investigated within a sample that resembles Gotham’s sample in age and level of verbal functioning.
doi:10.1007/s10803-010-1057-0
PMCID: PMC3040310  PMID: 20617374
ADOS; Autism; ASD; Diagnosis; Symptoms; Severity
3.  Randomized Controlled Trial of the Focus Parent Training for Toddlers with Autism: 1-Year Outcome 
This randomized controlled trial compared results obtained after 12 months of nonintensive parent training plus care-as-usual and care-as-usual alone. The training focused on stimulating joint attention and language skills and was based on the intervention described by Drew et al. (Eur Child Adolesc Psychiatr 11:266–272, 2002). Seventy-five toddlers with autism spectrum disorder (65 autism, 10 PDD-NOS, mean age = 34.4 months, SD = 6.2) were enrolled. Analyses were conducted on a final sample of 67 children (lost to follow-up = 8). No significant intervention effects were found for any of the primary (language), secondary (global clinical improvement), or mediating (child engagement, early precursors of social communication, or parental skills) outcome variables, suggesting that the ‘Focus parent training’ was not of additional value to the more general care-as-usual.
doi:10.1007/s10803-010-1004-0
PMCID: PMC2980624  PMID: 20440639
Autism; Parent training; Toddler; Early intervention; Randomized controlled trial
4.  Improved Diagnostic Validity of the ADOS Revised Algorithms: A Replication Study in an Independent Sample 
Recently, Gotham et al. (2007) proposed revised algorithms for the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS) with improved diagnostic validity. The aim of the current study was to replicate predictive validity, factor structure, and correlations with age and verbal and nonverbal IQ of the ADOS revised algorithms for Modules 1 and 2 in a large independent Dutch sample (N = 532). Results showed that the improvement of diagnostic validity was most apparent for autism, except in very young or low functioning children. Results for other autism spectrum disorders were less consistent. Overall, these findings support the use of the more homogeneous revised algorithms, with the use of similar items across developmental cells making it easier to compare ADOS scores within and between individuals.
doi:10.1007/s10803-009-0915-0
PMCID: PMC2864898  PMID: 20148299
Autism; ADOS; Algorithm; Sensitivity; Specificity; Diagnosis
5.  Using the Autism-Spectrum Quotient to Discriminate Autism Spectrum Disorder from ADHD in Adult Patients With and Without Comorbid Substance Use Disorder 
It is unknown whether the Autism-spectrum quotient (AQ) can discriminate between Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) with or without comorbid Substance Use Disorder (SUD). ANOVA’s were used to analyse the mean AQ (sub)scores of 129 adults with ASD or ADHD. We applied receiver operating characteristic (ROC) computations to assess discriminant power. All but one of the mean AQ (sub)scores were significantly higher for adults with ASD compared to those with ADHD. The SUD status in general was not significantly associated with AQ (sub)scores. On the Social Skills subscale patients with ASD and comorbid SUD showed less impairment than those without SUD. The cut-off score 26 yielded 73% correct classifications. The clinical use of the AQ in differentiating between ASD and ADHD is limited.
doi:10.1007/s10803-009-0743-2
PMCID: PMC2727364  PMID: 19396535
Autism spectrum disorder; ADHD; Substance use disorder; Autism-spectrum quotient
6.  A Pilot Study of Abnormal Growth in Autism Spectrum Disorders and Other Childhood Psychiatric Disorders 
The aims of the current study were to examine whether early growth abnormalities are (a) comparable in autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and other childhood psychiatric disorders, and (b) specific to the brain or generalized to the whole body. Head circumference, height, and weight were measured during the first 19 months of life in 129 children with ASD and 59 children with non-ASD psychiatric disorders. Both groups showed comparable abnormal patterns of growth compared to population norms, especially regarding height and head circumference in relation to height. Thus abnormal growth appears to be related to psychiatric disorders in general and is mainly expressed as an accelerated growth of height not matched by an increase in weight or head circumference.
doi:10.1007/s10803-010-1026-7
PMCID: PMC3005115  PMID: 20428954
Autism; Growth; Head circumference; Height; Weight; Endophenotype

Results 1-6 (6)