Clinical Evaluation of a Novel and Mobile Autism Risk Assessment

J Autism Dev Disord. 2016 Jun;46(6):1953-1961. doi: 10.1007/s10803-016-2718-4.


The Mobile Autism Risk Assessment (MARA) is a new, electronically administered, 7-question autism spectrum disorder (ASD) screen to triage those at highest risk for ASD. Children 16 months-17 years (N = 222) were screened during their first visit in a developmental-behavioral pediatric clinic. MARA scores were compared to diagnosis from the clinical encounter. Participant median age was 5.8 years, 76.1 % were male, and most participants had an intelligence/developmental quotient score >85; 69 of the participants (31 %) received a clinical diagnosis of ASD. The sensitivity of the MARA in detecting ASD was 89.9 % [95 % CI = 82.7-97]; the specificity was 79.7 % [95 % CI = 73.4-86.1]. In a high-risk clinical setting, the MARA shows promise as a screen to distinguish ASD from other developmental/behavioral disorders.

Keywords: Autism detection; Autism screening; Clinical validation; Machine learning.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder / diagnosis*
  • Autistic Disorder / diagnosis*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Developmental Disabilities
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Mass Screening
  • Risk Assessment / methods
  • Sensitivity and Specificity