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Autism Treatment Checklist


Autism Treatment Checklist


      

     07/21/00

      Most parents of Autistic/PDD children try a variety of treatment programs over time in an attempt to find something that will work with their children. Sometimes it becomes difficult to tell which program is more effective or on which areas of behavior improvement is seen. The Autism Research Institute has developed a simple, online evaluation tool to help in evaluating the different approaches to treatment which are being used and which is individualized to the individual child. There are other checklists available for different age-groups such as toddlers however this checklist covers a wide range of ages and behaviors.

      The Checklist evaluates behaviors in four different areas, Speech/Language/Communication, Sociability, Sensory/Cognitive Awareness and Health/Physical Behavior. Using a simple 3 or 4 point rating scale, it asks the parent to rate the child's behaviors and click on the appropriate " radio button" to enter the rating. It asks that 77 different behaviors be evaluated and rated and when complete that the data be transmitted for scoring.

      This evaluation tool is free and is not copyrighted, so it can be used several times to evaluate the behaviors present after a particular treatment is tried and then the results can be compared to see which areas of behavior are improved on one particular treatment in comparison with other treatment methods which have been tried. It is part of an ongoing research project and uses a similar tool to rate non-autistic children as a control group. While the checklist calls for personal identification information, it allows for use of a code number instead of a name, in an attempt to provide confidentiality.

      This tool is easy to use and takes only about 5 minutes to complete. The scoring is done instantaneously and results are displayed for each area and for a total score. I just tried using this checklist for my son's behaviors and found it gave an accurate evaluation of where I see his level of autistic behavior as being. While it may not be for everyone, it does give what appears to be a statistically valid rating and is worth trying. It not only can be used by parents or caregivers, but by teachers as well to determine the effect of their interventions in behavior modification and other areas. Overall, it appears to be a worthwhile form to have handy, especially when evaluating the effectiveness of a particular treatment on a specific area of behavioral concern.