First Year(s) Inventory (FYI)
(Baranek, Watson, Crais, & Reznick, 2003 [version 2.0];
Turner-Brown, Baranek, Reznick, Watson, & Crais, 2013 [version 3.1])
The First Year(s) Inventory (FYI) is a caregiver report screening tool that identifies children who are at risk for ASD and related neurodevelopmental disorders based on social communication and sensory-regulatory behaviors in the first year of life. Validation studies using the FYI v2.0 (and FYI v2.0 LITE) have been conducted by our own team in community samples (Baranek et al., 2015; Lee et al., in revision; Reznick, Baranek, Reavis, Watson, & Crais, 2007; Turner-Brown et al., 2013; Watson et al., 2007), as well as other research groups (Ben-Sasson & Carter, 2012, 2013; Rowberry et al., 2015) with high-risk and community samples. The FYI v2.0 was normed for 12 month old infants and has been translated to many languages for use in international research studies. Emerging research on the utility of the newly expanded FYI v3.1 suggests that the tool is promising in identifying risk for ASD between the ages of 6 and 16 months in a community sample. The insp!re team is currently revising and translating the FYI (version 3.1) into Spanish and Mandarin Chinese.
Developmental Concerns Questionnaire (DCQ)
(Reznick, Baranek, Watson, & Crais, 2005)
The Developmental Concerns Questionnaire (DCQ) is a descriptive tool in which caregivers report concerns about their child’s development, including those raised by relatives, healthcare providers, and childcare providers. The questionnaire also probes for diagnostic and family history of developmental conditions or ASD. It has been used as a supplement to the FYI data collection in several studies (Turner-Brown et al., 2013).
Sensory Processing Assessment for Young Children (SPA)
The Sensory Processing Assessment for Young Children (SPA) is a behavioral measure that examines a child’s response to novel sensory stimuli in a semi-structured play context with standardized toys. The SPA yields information regarding the child’s responses to novel tactile, auditory, and visual stimuli in social and non-social domains, resulting in subscale scores for hyperresponsiveness and hyporesponsiveness. Several validation studies have been published (Baranek, 1999; Baranek, Boyd, Poe, David, & Watson, 2007; Baranek et al., 2013).
Sensory Experiences Questionnaire (SEQ)
(Baranek, 1999 [version 2.1], 2009 [version 3.0])
The Sensory Experiences Questionnaire (SEQ) is a caregiver report regarding children’s responses to and behavior during various sensory experiences. The questionnaire also inquires about caregiver attempts to change the child’s behavior. The SEQ yields hyperresponsiveness and hyporesponsiveness subscales and is currently being translated into Spanish and Mandarin Chinese. Several validation studies have been published for both versions 2.1 (Baranek, 1999; Baranek, David, Poe, Stone, & Watson, 2006; Boyd et al., 2010; Little et al., 2011) and 3.0 (Ausderau et al., 2014; Baranek, 2009).
Baranek, G. T., Watson, L. R., Turner-Brown, L., Field, S. H., Crais, E. R., Wakeford, L., Little, L. M., & Reznick, J. S. (2015). Preliminary efficacy of adapted responsive teaching for infants at risk of autism spectrum disorder in a community sample. Autism Research and Treatment, 2015(386951), 1-16. https://doi.org/10.1155/2015/386951 Show abstract
This study examined the (a) feasibility of enrolling 12-month-olds at risk of ASD from a community sample into a randomized controlled trial, (b) subsequent utilization of community services, and (c) potential of a novel parent-mediated intervention to improve outcomes. The First Year Inventory was used to screen and recruit 12-month-old infants at risk of ASD to compare the effects of 6-9 months of Adapted Responsive Teaching (ART) versus referral to early intervention and monitoring (REIM). Eighteen families were followed for ~20 months. Assessments were conducted before randomization, after treatment, and at 6-month follow-up. Utilization of community services was highest for the REIM group. ART significantly outperformed REIM on parent-reported and observed measures of child receptive language with good linear model fit. Multiphase growth models had better fit for more variables, showing the greatest effects in the active treatment phase, where ART outperformed REIM on parental interactive style (less directive), child sensory responsiveness (less hyporesponsive), and adaptive behavior (increased communication and socialization). This study demonstrates the promise of a parent-mediated intervention for improving developmental outcomes for infants at risk of ASD in a community sample and highlights the utility of earlier identification for access to community services earlier than standard practice.
Ausderau, K., Sideris, J., Furlong, M., Little, L. M., Bulluck, J., & Baranek, G. T. (2014). National survey of sensory features in children with ASD: Factor structure of the sensory experience questionnaire (3.0). Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 44(4), 915-925. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10803-013-1945-1 Show abstract
This national online survey study characterized sensory features in 1,307 children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) ages 2-12 years using the Sensory Experiences Questionnaire Version 3.0 (SEQ-3.0). Using the SEQ-3.0, a confirmatory factor analytic model with four substantive factors of hypothesized sensory response patterns (i.e., hyporesponsiveness; hyperresponsiveness; sensory interests, repetitions and seeking behaviors; enhanced perception), five method factors of sensory modalities (i.e., auditory, visual, tactile, gustatory/olfactory, vestibular/proprioceptive), and one of social context were tested with good model fit. Child and family characteristics associated with the sensory response patterns were explored. The effect of sensory response patterns on autism severity was tested, controlling for key child and family characteristics. The SEQ-3.0 demonstrates an empirically valid factor structure specific to ASD that considers sensory response patterns, modalities, and social context.
Turner-Brown, L. M., Baranek, G. T., Reznick, J. S., Watson, L. R., & Crais, E. R. (2013). The First Year Inventory: A longitudinal follow-up of 12-month-old to 3-year-old children. Autism, 17(5), 527-540. https://doi.org/10.1177/1362361312439633 Show abstract
The First Year Inventory is a parent-report measure designed to identify 12-month-old infants at risk for autism spectrum disorder. First Year Inventory taps behaviors that indicate risk in the developmental domains of sensory-regulatory and social-communication functioning. This longitudinal study is a follow-up of 699 children at 3 years of age from a community sample whose parents completed the First Year Inventory when their children were 12 months old. Parents of all 699 children completed the Social Responsiveness Scale-Preschool version and the Developmental Concerns Questionnaire to determine age 3 developmental outcomes. In addition, children deemed at risk for autism spectrum disorder based on liberal cut points on the First Year Inventory, Social Responsiveness Scale-Preschool, and/or Developmental Concerns Questionnaire were invited for in-person diagnostic evaluations. We found 9 children who had a confirmed diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder from the sample of 699. Receiver operating characteristic analyses determined that a two-domain cutoff score yielded optimal classification of children: 31% of those meeting algorithm cutoffs had autism spectrum disorder and 85% had a developmental disability or concern by age 3. These results suggest that the First Year Inventory is a promising tool for identifying 12-month-old infants who are at risk for an eventual diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder.
Baranek, G. T., Watson, L. R., Boyd, B. A., Poe, M. D., David, F. J., & McGuire, L. (2013). Hyporesponsiveness to social and nonsocial sensory stimuli in children with autism, children with developmental delays, and typically developing children. Development and Psychopathology, 25(2), 307-320. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0954579412001071 Show abstract
This cross-sectional study seeks to (a) describe developmental correlates of sensory hyporesponsiveness to social and nonsocial stimuli, (b) determine whether hyporesponsiveness is generalized across contexts in children with autism relative to controls, and (c) test the associations between hyporesponsiveness and social communication outcomes. Three groups of children ages 11-105 months (N = 178; autism = 63, developmental delay = 47, typical development = 68) are given developmental and sensory measures including a behavioral orienting task (the Sensory Processing Assessment). Lab measures are significantly correlated with parental reports of sensory hyporesponsiveness. Censored regression models show that hyporesponsiveness decreased across groups with increasing mental age (MA). Group differences are significant but depend upon two-way interactions with MA and context (social and nonsocial). At a very young MA (e.g., 6 months), the autism group demonstrates more hyporesponsiveness to social and nonsocial stimuli (with larger effects for social) than developmental delay and typically developing groups, but at an older MA (e.g., 60 months) there are no significant differences. Hyporesponsiveness to social and nonsocial stimuli predicts lower levels of joint attention and language in children with autism. Generalized processes in attention disengagement and behavioral orienting may have relevance for identifying early risk factors of autism and for facilitating learning across contexts to support the development of joint attention and language.
Little, L. M., Freuler, A. C., Houser, M. B., Guckian, L., Carbine, K., David, F. J., & Baranek, G. T. (2011). Psychometric validation of the Sensory Experiences Questionnaire. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 65(2), 207-210. https://doi.org/10.5014/ajot.2011.000844 Show abstract
Introduction. We evaluated the psychometric properties of the Sensory Experiences Questionnaire (Version 1; Baranek, David, Poe, Stone, & Watson, 2006), a brief caregiver questionnaire for young children with autism and developmental delays used to identify sensory processing patterns in the context of daily activities.
Method. Caregiver questionnaires (N=358) were analyzed to determine internal consistency. The test-retest subsample (n=24) completed two assessments within 2-4 wk. Internal consistency and test-retest reliability were analyzed using Cronbach's coefficient alpha and intraclass correlation coefficients, respectively.
Results. Internal consistency for the SEQ was alpha = .80. Test-retest reliability for the total score was excellent, with ICC = .92.
Discussion. The SEQ is an internally consistent and reliable caregiver report measure of young children's sensory processing patterns of hypo- and hyperresponsiveness. The SEQ can be used as an early tool for identifying sensory patterns in young children with autism and other developmental disabilities.
Boyd, B. A., Baranek, G. T., Sideris, J., Poe, M. D., Watson, L. R., Patten, E., & Miller, H. (2010). Sensory features and repetitive behaviors in children with autism and developmental delays. Autism Research, 3(2), 78-87. https://doi.org/10.1002/aur.124 Show abstract
This study combined parent and observational measures to examine the association between aberrant sensory features and restricted, repetitive behaviors in children with autism (N=67) and those with developmental delays (N=42). Confirmatory factor analysis was used to empirically validate three sensory constructs of interest: hyperresponsiveness, hyporesponsiveness, and sensory seeking. Examining the association between the three derived sensory factor scores and scores on the Repetitive Behavior Scales—Revised revealed the co-occurrence of these behaviors in both clinical groups. Specifically, high levels of hyperresponsive behaviors predicted high levels of repetitive behaviors, and the relationship between these variables remained the same controlling for mental age. We primarily found non-significant associations between hyporesponsiveness or sensory seeking and repetitive behaviors, with the exception that sensory seeking was associated with ritualistic/sameness behaviors. These findings suggest that shared neurobiological mechanisms may underlie hyperresponsive sensory symptoms and repetitive behaviors and have implications for diagnostic classification as well as intervention.
Reznick, J. S., Baranek, G. T., Reavis, S., Watson, L. R., & Crais, E. R. (2007). A parent-report instrument for identifying one-year-olds at risk for an eventual diagnosis of autism: The First Year Inventory. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 37(9), 1691-1710. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10803-006-0303-y Show abstract
A parent-report instrument, the First Year Inventory (FYI), was developed to assess behaviors in 12-month-old infants that suggest risk for an eventual diagnosis of autism. The target behaviors were identified from retrospective and prospective studies. FYIs were mailed to 5,941 families and 25% (N = 1,496) were returned, with higher return rates for white families and for families with greater educational attainment. Ad hoc groups of questions afforded measurement of eight specific constructs, which were combined to establish a general risk index. Boys had higher risk scores than did girls. Maternal race and education influenced answers. A small percentage of infants appeared to be at notably elevated risk. Large-scale longitudinal research is warranted to determine whether the FYI can predict an eventual diagnosis of autism.
Baranek, G. T., Boyd, B. A., Poe, M. D., David, F. J., & Watson, L. R. (2007). Hyperresponsive sensory patterns in young children with autism, developmental delay, and typical development. American Journal of Mental Retardation, 112(4), 233-245. https://doi.org/10.1352/0895-8017(2007)112[233:HSPIYC]2.0.CO;2 Show abstract
The nature of hyperresponsiveness to sensory stimuli in children with autism, using a new observational measure, the SPA, was examined. Three groups of young participants were assessed (autism, developmental delay, typical). Across all groups, MA was a predictor of hyperresponsiveness, such that aversion to multisensory toys decreased as MA increased. The two clinical groups displayed higher levels of sensory aversion than the typical group. The groups did not differ in the proportion of children habituating to an auditory stimulus; however, nonresponders were more prevalent in the autism group. These findings elucidate developmental influences on sensory features and the specificity of hyperresponsiveness to clinical groups. Implications for understanding pathogenesis, differentiating constructs of hypersensitivity, and planning treatment are discussed.
Watson, L. R., Baranek, G. T., Crais, E. R., Reznick, S. J., Dykstra, J., & Perryman, T. (2007). The First Year Inventory: Retrospective parent responses to a questionnaire designed to identify one-year-olds at risk for autism. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 37(1), 49-61. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10803-006-0334-4 Show abstract
The First Year Inventory (FYI) is a parent questionnaire designed to assess behaviors in 12-month-olds that suggest risk for an eventual diagnosis of autism. We examined the construct validity of the FYI by comparing retrospective responses of parents of preschool children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD; n = 38), other developmental disabilities (DD; n = 15), and typical development (TD; n = 40). Children with ASD were rated at significantly higher risk on the FYI than children with DD or TD. The DD group was at intermediate risk, also significantly higher than the TD group. These retrospective data strengthen the validity of the FYI and have implications for refining the FYI to improve its utility for prospective screening of 12-month-olds.
Baranek, G. T., David, F. J., Poe, M. D., Stone, W. L., & Watson, L. R. (2006). Sensory Experiences Questionnaire: Discriminating sensory features in young children with autism, developmental delays, and typical development. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, and Allied Disciplines, 47(6), 591-601. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1469-7610.2005.01546.x Show abstract
Background. This study describes a new caregiver-report assessment, the Sensory Experiences Questionnaire (SEQ), and explicates the nature of sensory patterns of hyper- and hyporesponsiveness, their prevalence, and developmental correlates in autism relative to comparison groups.
Method. Caregivers of 258 children in five diagnostic groups (Autism, PDD, DD/MR, Other DD, Typical) ages 5-80 months completed the SEQ.
Results. The SEQ's internal consistency was α' = .80. Prevalence of overall sensory symptoms for the Autism group was 69%. Sensory symptoms were inversely related to mental age. The Autism group had significantly higher symptoms than either the Typical or DD groups and presented with a unique pattern of response to sensory stimuli-hyporesponsiveness in both social and nonsocial contexts. A pattern of hyperresponsiveness was similar in the Autism and DD groups, but significantly greater in both clinical groups than in the Typical group.
Conclusion. The SEQ was able to characterize sensory features in young children with autism, and differentiate their sensory patterns from comparison groups. These unique sensory patterns have etiological implications, as well as relevance for assessment and intervention practices.
Baranek, G. T. (2009). Sensory experiences questionnaire (SEQ) version 3.0. Unpublished manuscript. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Reznick, J. S., Baranek, G. T., Watson, L. R., & Crais, E. R. (2005). Developmental concerns questionnaire. Unpublished manuscript. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Baranek, G. T., Watson, L. R., Crais, E., & Reznick, S. (2003). First-year inventory (FYI) 2.0. Unpublished manuscript. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Baranek, G. T. (1999). Sensory processing assessment for young children (SPA). Unpublished manuscript. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Rowberry, J., Macari, S., Chen, G., Campbell, D., Leventhal, J. M., Weitzman, C., & Chawarska, K. (2015). Screening for autism spectrum disorders in 12-month-old high-risk siblings by parental report. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 45, 221–229. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10803-014-2211-x
Ben-Sasson, A., & Carter, A. S. (2013). The contribution of sensory–regulatory markers to the accuracy of ASD screening at 12 months. Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, 7(7), 879-888. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.rasd.2013.03.006
Ben-Sasson, A., & Carter, A. S. (2012). The application of the First Year Inventory for ASD screening in Israel. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 42, 1906–1916. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10803-011-1436-1