Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name



Communicative Disorders

Degree Program

Communicative Disorders, MS

Committee Chair

Pitts, Teresa

Committee Co-Chair (if applicable)

Smith, Alan

Committee Member

Mattingly, Rhonda

Author's Keywords

autism spectrum disorder; early intervention; screening; developmental domains; language development; social-emotional development


Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a heterogeneous neurodevelopmental disorder whose symptoms may involve deficits across three domains: communication, socialization, and atypical behaviors or interests. With a high prevalence across populations and a tendency to impact males more so than females, early and accurate diagnosis appears critical. The most current literature on ASD provides a myriad of difficulties associated with diagnosis under the age of three years. The purpose of this study was to determine if a predictive relationship exists between a child’s individual developmental domain standard deviation (SD) subscale scores (motor, language, cognitive, social-emotional, and adaptive skills) on the Bayley III; their autism screening scores (pass or fail) on the Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers, Revised (M-CHAT/R) and on the Screening Tool for Autism in Toddlers and Young Children (STAT); and whether a diagnosis of ASD was applied. A retrospective file review of 151 children participating in Kentucky’s early intervention program—First Steps—was completed. The children ranged in age from 18 to 35 months. A binary logistic regression was used to assess the association between the Bayley-III subscale scores, each child’s pass/fail on the two ASD screeners, and whether or not an ASD diagnosis was applied following multidisciplinary evaluation. The results indicated that individual lower subscales scores in cognitive, language, adaptive, and social-emotional domains on the Bayley-III were predictive of an autism diagnosis.