Master of Arts (MA)



Document Type



Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs) are characterized by pervasive impairments in repetitive behaviors or interests, communication, and socialization. As the onset of these features occurs at a very young age, early detection is of the utmost importance. In an attempt to better clarify the behavioral presentation of communication and socialization deficits to aid in early assessment and intervention, impairments in these areas were examined among infants and toddlers (17-37 months) with Autistic Disorder (AD), Pervasive Developmental Disorder – Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS), and non-ASD related developmental delay. The Baby and Infant Screen for Children with aUtIsm Traits-Part1 (BISCUIT-Part1) and the Battelle Developmental Inventory, 2nd Edition (BDI-2) were utilized to examine communication and socialization levels, respectively, among these groups. All groups significantly differed on level of socialization impairment with the Autism group displaying the greatest impairment and the non-ASD related developmental delay group evincing the least impairment. In regards to communication deficits, the non-ASD related developmentally delayed group differed significantly in comparison to the Autism and PDD-NOS groups; however, no significant differences were found between children with AD and PDD-NOS. While communication and socialization impairments were found to significantly correlate for all participants with the exception of those with PDD-NOS, these correlations were not found to significantly differ from one another across groups. A regression analysis examining which communication items on the BISCUIT-Part1 predicted socialization impairment on the BDI-2 found that the two significant predictors were use of language in conversation with others and communicates effectively (e.g., using words, gestures or sign language). The implications, limitations, and future directions of these results are discussed.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Matson, Johnny L.



Included in

Psychology Commons