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Autism Research and Treatment
Volume 2013, Article ID 373240, 9 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/373240
Clinical Study

Utility of Teacher-Report Assessments of Autistic Severity in Japanese School Children

Department of Child and Adolescent Mental Health, National Institute of Mental Health, National Center of Neurology and Psychiatry, 4-1-1 Ogawa-Higashi, Kodaira, Tokyo 187-8553, Japan

Received 2 June 2013; Revised 28 October 2013; Accepted 11 November 2013

Academic Editor: Herbert Roeyers

Copyright © 2013 Yoko Kamio et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Recent studies suggest that many children with milder autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are undiagnosed, untreated, and being educated in mainstream classes without support and that school teachers might be the best persons to identify a child’s social deviance. At present, only a few screening measures using teacher ratings of ASD have been validated. The aim of this study was to examine the utility of teacher ratings on the Social Responsiveness Scale (SRS), a quantitative measure of ASD. We recruited 130 participants aged 4 to 17 years from local schools or local pediatric outpatient clinics specializing in neurodevelopmental disorders that included 70 children with ASD. We found that the teacher-report SRS can be reliably and validly applied to children as a screening tool or for other research purposes, and it also has cross-cultural comparability. Although parent-teacher agreement was satisfactory overall, a discrepancy existed for children with ASD, especially for girls with ASD. To improve sensitivity in children at higher risk, especially girls, we cannot overstate the importance of using standardized norms specific to gender, informant, and culture.