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Saturday, August 6, 2016

Autism Treatment Evaluation Checklist (ATEC)


About the ATEC

A major obstacle in autism research has been the lack of a valid means of measuring the effectiveness of various treatments. Over the years, researchers have published hundreds of studies attempting to evaluate different biomedical and psycho-educational interventions intended to benefit autistic children. Much of this research has produced inconclusive or, worse, misleading results, because there are no useful tests or scales designed to measure treatment effectiveness. Lacking such a scale, researchers have resorted to using scales such as the Childhood Autism Rating Scale (CARS), the Gilliam Autism Rating Scale (GARS), or the Autism Behavior Checklist (ABC), all of which were designed to diagnose autism- to tell whether or not a child is autistic--and not to measure treatment effectiveness.
Two recent reviews have commented on the problem: "Often, investigators have to use diagnostic instruments to measure changes in response to treatment. . .this approach has not been very successful. . .because most diagnostic instruments. . .are not sufficiently sensitive to changes within an individual."1 " ...[M]easures of clinical improvement to validate treatment outcomes are even more seriously deficient."2
The Autism Treatment Evaluation Checklist (ATEC) was developed by Bernard Rimland and Stephen M. Edelson of the Autism Research Institute, to fill this need.
The ATEC is a one-page form designed to be completed by parents, teachers, or caretakers. It consists of 4 subtests: I. Speech/Language Communication (14 items); II. Sociability (20 items); III. Sensory/ Cognitive Awareness (18 items); and IV. Health/Physical/Behavior (25 items).