Rapid Interactive screening Test for Autism in Toddlers
The Rapid Interactive screening Test for Autism in Toddlers is an interactive autism screening test for children younger than 3 years of age and allows a better identification of toddlers at a very high risk for autism spectrum disorders, which will then expedite their referral for diagnostic evaluation and start of treatment.
The training program includes a 45-minute educational power point on the early signs of ASD and the concept of a level 1 and level 2 screener as well as psychometrics of current tests available for this age group. The RITA-T can be reliably and easily learned and administered, allowing it to fit in a diverse range of environments, across many professional disciplines. The RITA-T administration and scoring can be completed within 10 minutes.
The RITA-T developmental constructs are reviewed and what they evaluate along with their scoring. The RITA-T items are then reviewed along with their administration and scoring. The training program then includes training videos and scoring and practice videos. The training videos include a narrative feedback for each score. After training on the sample videos and completing the practice videos independently, and completing a post-test, a certificate of completion is awarded.
The course consists of 9 interactive activities designed to evaluate five developmental constructs known to represent early signs of ASD in toddlers 18-36 months:
Joint attention (JA) - shared focus by two or more people on the same object or person
Social awareness (SA) - ability to notice and respond to what is happening around you
Awareness of human agency (HA) - a precursor to theory of mind (the hand belongs to a person)
Self-recognition (SR) - a well-known social cognition skill that emerges between 18 and 24 months
Fundamental cognitive skill (C) - “naïve physics” (object permanence, color & shape constancy)
- Can be administered after a positive Level 1 test to identify those with real ASD risk
- 5-10 minutes to administer and score
- This model would allow improved access and two different clinical pathways
- Toddlers with high risk of ASD would not be delayed for diagnostic confirmation
- Early Interventionist and Early Childhood educators can then do MCHAT R/F and RITA-T
- Reliable in 18-36 months olds
- Easy to train and learn
- Discriminates well between toddlers with ASD and those with Delays that are non ASD
- Most importantly: FITS WELL INTO BUSY PRACTICE FLOW
Dr. Choueiri, MD - "Detecting Ausism Spectrum Disorders"
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