Project 1a (PI Roessner)

Development and evaluation of an economical screening instrument and internet-based training tool for valid ASD diagnosis in children and adolescents

Prof. Dr. Veit Roessner, Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (DCAP), Medical Faculty of the Technical University Dresden

Co-PI: PD Dr. Kamp-Becker, DCAP Philipps-University Marburg

Early identification of ASD is necessary for early intervention, which is critical for reducing challenges and lifetime costs. The existing screening instruments for ASD are, in fact, sensitive and able to accurately identify a large number of individuals with ASD, but they lack the specificity to differentiate individuals with ASD from those children and adolescents with other complex neurobehavioural disorders (such as Attention-Deficit/ Hyperactivity Disorder [ADHD], language disorders, intellectual disabilities, anxiety disorders and others). This project covers three aspects: (1) An economical and valid screening instrument will be developed on the basis of data of approx. 1,350 children and adolescents with ASD and the same number of patients with relevant differential diagnoses. Applying machine learning algorithms, we will develop age-, IQ-, and gender-specific cut-offs. (2) This screening instrument will be evaluated prospectively in an independent sample of children and adolescents suspected of ASD. (3) To accommodate different health care professionals (e.g. paediatricians, general practitioners, child and adolescent psychiatrists) with the newly developed screening instrument and to facilitate patient management, an internet-based training tool for effective diagnosing of ASD will be developed and adapted for application.