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Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders

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Autism is an increasingly prevalent developmental neurological condition that manifests in pervasive impairments in social interaction, communication, and stereotypic behavior and interests. Early identification leads to positive long-term outcomes. At present, all standardized rating instruments are written in English; therefore, the purpose of the present study was to adapt the Gilliam Autism Rating Scale-2 from English into Spanish using the state-of-the-art procedures described in the literature. The English instrument was translated into Spanish, back-translated into English, and then revised using an iterative process. The adapted instrument's psychometric qualities were substantiated. An alpha coefficient of .96 verified the adapted instrument's internal consistency. Results from test–retest comparisons verified the instrument's time stability. The instrument's discriminative validity was confirmed using analysis of variance; the autism group had significantly higher scores than did the other diagnostic groups. Factor analysis verified the construct validity as the items loaded into three clusters that corresponded to the defining characteristics of autism: social interaction, language, and stereotyped behaviors. This culturally and linguistically appropriate assessment tool could be an important instrument for autistic children with Spanish-speaking parents who would otherwise be disenfranchised in regards to early intervention services.

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