Scale/survey instrument for measuring anxiety in children with autism based upon a parent report.
- Includes 25-item measure for anxiety.
- Tested in a large-scale survey and clinical setting.
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by social communication deficits and repetitive behavior. It is estimated that 40% of youth with ASD have at least one anxiety disorder, such as separation anxiety, specific phobias, generalized anxiety disorder, or social anxiety disorder. This is the first tool specifically designed to assess anxiety in youth with ASD. This measure fills a gap because anxiety measures used in the general pediatric population have not worked well for youth with ASD.
The scale items were generated from a series of focus groups with parents of children with ASD. The bank of items from the focus groups were included in an online survey and completed by 990 parents. A systematic analysis identified 25 items. The new measure was then validated in a separate clinical sample.
The PRAS-ASD is a reliable and valid measure that can be used to assess severity of anxiety in youth with ASD and evaluate change with treatment.