Measuring developmental progress of children with autism spectrum disorder on school entry using parent report

Autism. 2004 Mar;8(1):89-100. doi: 10.1177/1362361304040641.


Increasing numbers of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are diagnosed in the preschool years, and their educational progress must be monitored. Parent questionnaire data can augment psychometric assessments and individual planning at low cost. One hundred and twenty-five parents of UK children who entered dedicated autism primary schools and units in two consecutive calendar years were asked to complete three questionnaires. Fifty-seven parents repeated the questionnaire measures one year later. Encouraging developmental progress was observed on the Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales-Screener. Symptom severity as measured by the Social Communication Questionnaire did not change over time. The pattern of change scores on the Autism Treatment Evaluation Checklist was mixed, and confounding disadvantages this questionnaire. The study demonstrated that it is possible to collect useful information on the progress of children with ASD using parents as informants. Such data would assist in judging claims regarding developmental progress within particular programmes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Autistic Disorder / psychology*
  • Autistic Disorder / rehabilitation
  • Child
  • Child Development*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Data Collection
  • Educational Status
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Parent-Child Relations*
  • Psychometrics
  • Surveys and Questionnaires*