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Credible, award-winning early autism detection with ASDetect.

For parents and caregivers of children aged 11 to 30 months, the FREE app ASDetect was launched in 2016 and has been downloaded 50,000 times.

It is based on research by the Olga Tennison Autism Research Centre at La Trobe University, Australia. The autism surveillance method developed in this research is 81% - 83% accurate.

Available in English, Mandarin Chinese, and Spanish.


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THE SOCIAL ATTENTION AND COMMUNICATION STUDY (2006 - 2016)

The research behind ASDetect

World-class

  • Over a decade of community-based research
  • Two large-scale studies with more than 30,000 children
  • 1,500 trained Maternal and Child Health nurses
  • Based on a developmental surveillance tool adopted globally across more than 11 countries.

The evidence underpinning ASDetect is drawn from research undertaken by Dr Josephine Barbaro, PhD, who is program leader for the early detection and diagnosis of autism at the Olga Tennison Autism Research Centre at La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia.

During the Social Attention and Communication Study (SACS), Dr Barbaro trained 350 Maternal and Child Health nurses to monitor the social attention and communication behaviours of more than 30,000 children aged 12 to 24 months of age, across two large scale studies beginning in 2006.

In 2019, 1500 Maternal and Child Health nurses in Victoria were trained to prospectively identify infants and toddlers with ‘high likelihood’ of autism during the 12-month, 18-month, and 24-month Key Ages and Stages (KAS) consultations.
This initiative ultimately aimed to increase the early identification of children with autism to provide enhanced support for children with autism at a younger age via earlier access to early intervention.

A highly accurate tool

In these studies, 81% - 83% of children who were identified as having a high likelihood for autism by Maternal and Child Health nurses, did in fact have autism. Early identification of children with a high likelihood of autism means that parents and caregivers have the best chance of  helping their child to reach their full potential.

“All typically developing babies are pre-wired to be social, look at other people’s faces, learn from them and copy what they’re doing. Children with autism are not doing this – and we can now accurately identify this at a much younger age and take action,” Dr Barbaro said.

Through this comprehensive study, Dr Barbaro has developed an accurate set of behavioural signs of autism, which form the basis of the assessments in ASDetect. These early signs relate to the following behaviours in young children:

  • making consistent eye contact with others
  • showing their toys to others
  • engaging in pretend play
  • directing other people’s attention by pointing
  • responding when their name is called and,
  • using gestures such as waving goodbye

Evidence-based

The complete academic papers by Dr Josephine Barbaro and Professor Cheryl Dissanayake discussing the first SACS program were published in 2010 and 2013 and are available on PubMed, or you can email us at ask@asdetect.org for a copy.
2010 PAPER
2013 PAPER
2020 PAPER


Listen to Dr Barbaro discuss early detection

on SoundCloud


Watch Dr Barbaro giving an overview of her work in early detection
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(Part of La Trobe Univerity’s Big Fat Ideas series.)
WORLD-FIRST AUTISM EARLY DETECTION APP

Unique Features of ASDetect

Comprehensive video-led assessments

ASDetect guides parents through the assessment questions using specially produced videos. There are videos of children both with and without autism. Each one shows a development milestone, and some questions also have activities that you can do with your child to help you answer the question.

“If we had ASDetect when our eldest son was an infant we would have easily identified that he has ASD. The videos make it very clear.”

Accurate assessment methodology

This video-led self-assessment app is based on comprehensive, rigorous, world-class research conducted at the Olga Tennison Autism Research Centre. The assessment method underlying this app is 81% - 83% accurate in the early detection of autism.
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Trusted by users

Many parents have found ASDetect to be helpful. By demonstrating early social communication milestones, it allows early autism detection. It can also reassure parents that their child’s development is typical.

“If we had ASDetect when our eldest son was an infant we would have easily identified that he has autism. The videos make it very clear.”


“I think all parents worry a bit if their first child isn't quick to talk or communicate and wonder what ‘normal’ is. Using this test made me feel at ease and my child who is now almost 2 is reaching all milestones.”

Award winning

Industry recognition for ASDetect includes the Australian Information Industry Association Research and Development Project of the Year 2016 (both Victorian and National), and the Google Impact Challenge 2016.

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Download

ASDetect is a free app that empowers parents to assess their young children for early signs of autism.

  • For children 2½ years and younger (between 11 and 30 months)
  • Based on research with an 81% - 83% accuracy for detecting autism
  • Features extensive video footage of children both with and without autism
  • Contains 3 age-appropriate assessments for children aged 12, 18 and 24 months
  • Based on world-class, rigorous research at the Olga Tennison Autism Research Centre

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Using ASDetect is easy

  • 1
    Sign up as a parent or caregiver

    Enter your name, email address and password.

  • 2
    Enter your child's details

    Your child's date of birth will prompt ASDetect to display the appropriate assessment: 12 months, 18 months or 24 months.

  • 3
    Complete an assessment

    Watch the videos and then answer each question 'mostly' or 'rarely'. An assessment takes between 20 and 30 minutes.

  • 4
    Review your answers

    You can watch videos again and change your answers if required.

  • 5
    Submit your answers and view results

    You'll receive an on-screen result of either a 'higher' or 'lower' likelihood, as well as a comprehensive results email.

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OUR TEAM
FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

q+a How sensitive is ASDetect?
q+a My child was born prematurely; should I put in their actual birth date or their adjusted birth date?
q+a Can ASDetect be installed on iPads and tablets?
q+a My child was assessed by ASDetect as “low likelihood” for autism, but he/she got a number of atypical results; what should I do?
q+a My child has been assessed by ASDetect as ‘high likelihood” for autism; what should I do?
q+a ASDetect said that my child had a “high likelihood” for autism, but following a formal assessment no autism diagnosis was made; why is this?
q+a Can I also use ASDetect to check my older child’s development?

Parent resources



Promoting Your Child’s Early Learning

This booklet contains simple ideas and activities that parents can do with their young children. These will help with social and communication development.
Download Booklet:
ENGLISH

中文 - CHINESE

ESPAÑOL - SPANISH

عربى - ARABIC

ဗမာ - BURMESE

فارسی - FARSI

ខ្មែរ - KHMER

ਪੰਜਾਬੀ - PUNJABI

DARI

Tiếng Việt - VIETNAMESE

Video Resource for Intervention at Home

Help is in Your Hands contains 16 video modules to help parents add simple intervention practices to their everyday routines at home. Based on the Early Start Denver Model (ESDM), developed by Sally Rogers and Geraldine Dawson, these videos demonstrate simple but effective strategies that parents can use. For example, to increase children’s attention to people one module shows positioning people “face-to-face and close enough to touch” with toys or objects between the child and the adult.
Register for access to the free website

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