Publication Date


Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

Dr. Carl Myers (Director), Dr. Reagan Brown, Dr. Fredrick Grieve

Degree Program

Department of Psychology

Degree Type

Specialist in Education


The diagnosis of autism is a comprehensive process that requires trained professionals and is often a time consuming process. Behavior rating scales are common components used by practitioners in evaluations to assess various social, emotional, or behavioral problems. With the rise of awareness, the steady increase of autism diagnoses, and the importance of early identification to increase the effectiveness of intervention, there is a need for screeners to identify the characteristics of Autism Spectrum Disorders. The purpose of the present study was to determine if there was a group of items on the Child Behavior Checklist/1.5-5 that reliably distinguished between children with autism and referred, but non-spectrum children. A behavior rating scale was completed by parents and/or guardians of 156 preschool children with autism and without autism. Analyses of the data revealed a grouping of items that were significantly correlated with the diagnosis of autism. Based on predetermined cutoff scores, sensitivity, and specificity; the group of items may be useful in the recommendation of further assessment of autism.


Curriculum and Instruction | Developmental Psychology | Disability and Equity in Education | School Psychology | Special Education and Teaching