The STAT™ (Screening Tool for Autism in Toddlers & Young Children) is an empirically derived, interactive measure that has been developed to screen for autism in children between 24 and 36 months of age. It is designed for use by community service providers who work with young children in assessment or intervention settings and who have experience with autism. The STAT™ consists of 12 items and takes about 20 minutes to administer. Activities assess key social and communicative behaviors including imitation, play, requesting, and directing attention.
Although some parents become concerned about their child’s behavior and development as young as 16 months old, many children with autism do not receive a definitive diagnosis until they are 3½ years or older. By learning to administer the STAT™, you will be able to identify children at an earlier age who are at risk for a diagnosis of autism, and refer them for further assessment and specialized intervention.
Early detection and treatment of autism have been shown to lead to significant improvements in cognitive functioning, social behavior, adaptive behavior, and language skills. The use of the STAT™ to identify autism risk at young ages will allow broader participation in specialized early intervention services, and potentially lead to improved outcomes for more children.
The STAT™ was designed for use by a wide range of community professionals working with young children in assessment or intervention settings. The STAT™ is used by psychologists, pediatricians, speech-language pathologists, social workers, preschool teachers, and early intervention specialists.
The STAT™ was developed with several considerations in mind. First, it was designed as a Level 2 screener for use in referral settings, to identify children who are at risk for autism within samples of children for whom there are developmental concerns. The items included on the STAT™ were selected because they were the most effective in differentiating two-year old children with autism from those with other disorders.
Second, the STAT™ is an interactive screening tool designed to be as playful and as fun as possible, both for the child and the examiner. Because it is an interactive measure tapping core autism deficits, observations of children’s behavior during the screening can be used to develop individualized treatment goals and activities.
Third, the STAT™ was designed for use by a wide range of community professionals –not only to increase the rates of early detection, but also to enhance community awareness of the early signs of autism.
The STAT Training Tutorial (included in the Test Kit) is an interactive web-based application that provides thorough instruction on item administration and scoring, and includes video examples and practice tests. Information about interpreting STAT results and explaining results to parents is also provided.
Certification for independent use of the STAT can be obtained by successful completion of the Tutorial Post-Test. Each STAT Test Kit contains one training tutorial for the purpose of certification. Organizations who wish to allow multiple certified users to use the same kit can purchase additional training tutorials from the Purchase Options page following any kit order.
One-day STAT Training Workshops also are available at Vanderbilt University. Please visit our website for information about upcoming workshops.