Baby and Infant Screen for Children with autism Traits
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About Baby and Infant Screen for Children with autism Traits
Baby and Infant Screen for Children with autism Traits (BISCUIT; Matson et al. 2009). The BISCUIT is a comprehensive assessment battery designed to measure symptoms of autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and related difficulties in 17- to 37-month-olds. The battery is comprised of three components that assess symptoms of ASD (Part 1), comorbid psychopathology with ASD (Part 2), and behavioral problems (Part 3). For the purpose of this review, the focus will be on Parts 2 and 3 because they assess behavioral and emotional problems.
Part 2 includes 65 items assessing symptom severity of comorbid disorders (e.g., ADHD). Items are rated on a 3-point Likert scale that evaluates recent symptom severity, ranging from 0 (not a problem) to 2 (severe problem), or an X (does not apply). Internal reliability was high with a Cronbach’s alpha of .96, and an exploratory factor analysis demonstrated support for a 5-factor model consistent with symptom clusters of psychopathology, including tantrum/conduct behavior, inattention/impulsivity, avoidance behavior, anxiety/repetitive behavior, and eating/sleeping problems (Matson et al. 2011). In addition, mothers of infants with ASD reported significantly higher factor scores in comparison with mothers of children without ASD, providing evidence for discriminative validity.
Part 3 includes 17 items assessing challenging behaviors common in children with ASD (i.e., aggressive, disruptive, self-injurious, and stereotypic) rated on the same 3-point Likert scale as Part 2. Matson et al. (2010) demonstrated high internal consistency overall and for the aggressive and destructive subscales with Cronbach’s alpha of .91 and .85, respectively. However, the stereotypic and self-injurious subscales yielded lower Cronbach’s alpha of .58 and .38, respectively. In the psychometric studies, the BISCUIT was administered in the child’s home or day care setting. No specific information was provided on the length of administration, although this can be estimated based on the large number of items administered and, therefore, may be more appropriate for use during more comprehensive evaluations.