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Glob Pediatr Health. 2019 May 8;6:2333794X19847905. doi: 10.1177/2333794X19847905. eCollection 2019.

Validity of the Autism Mental Status Exam in Developmental Pediatrics and Primary Care Settings.

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Penn State College of Medicine, Hershey, PA, USA.
Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, USA.
Penn State Harrisburg, Middletown, PA, USA.


The Autism Mental Status Exam (AMSE) is a brief clinician-completed observational instrument that has shown promise in identifying autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in a referred sample. Our study explores the feasibility of the AMSE in both developmental pediatric and primary care samples. Fifty-three toddlers with ASD and other disabilities were scored using the AMSE and compared with 55 typically developing toddlers. AMSE scores differed significantly between ASD, non-ASD developmental disability, and neurotypical groups. A cutoff score on the AMSE of ≥5 for ASD maximized sensitivity (81.2%) and specificity (90.5%). Score differences between groups suggest that the AMSE may be useful in a clinical setting to help identify children with possible ASD.


Autism; Autism Mental Status Exam; Early Autism Screening; Pediatric Primary Care

Conflict of interest statement

Declaration of Conflicting Interests: The author(s) declared no potential conflicts of interest with respect to the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article.

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