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Our Clinical Paradigm was Built on a Foundation of Research

AYA is committed to continuous improvement through ongoing research

As part of AYA’s clinical process, patients are invited to participate in our ongoing, IRB-approved research studies. Since we began providing care in August 2022, thousands of families have agreed to participate in our research. These families provide socio-demographic data that is paired with standardized measures of autism symptoms and other mental health comorbidities assessed during the diagnostic evaluation. Some of the standardized measures that we employ are: the MCHAT-R, the ASDQ, the CARS‐2obs, and the TAP. Additional details can be extracted from the medical record, and a subset of families have agreed to be re-contacted for additional research opportunities. This large, national cohort of children (ages 16 months to 10 years) will allow researchers to ask comprehensive questions about autism, developmental pediatrics, and child psychiatry.

Interested in collaborating with us?

We are always exploring opportunities to partner with clinicians and academic researchers across the nation. If you are interested in working with us to advance care for children with autism please contact us!

Research Support for Measures

CARS-Obs: Sanchez, M. J., & Constantino, J. N. (2020). “Expediting clinician assessment in the diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder.” Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology, 62(7), 806-812.

TELE-ASD-PEDS: Corona, L.L., Wagner, L., Hooper, M. et al. A Randomized Trial of the Accuracy of Novel Telehealth Instruments for the Assessment of Autism in Toddlers. J Autism Dev Disord (2023).

TELE-ASD-PEDS: Keehn, R.M., Enneking, B., Wagner, L. (2021) Tele-assessment of young children referred for autism spectrum disorder evaluation during COVID-19: Associations among clinical characteristics and diagnostic outcome. Sage Journals, Volume 27, Issue 5,

TELE-ASD-PEDS: Wagner, L., Corona, L. L., Weitlauf, A. S., Marsh, K. L., Berman, A. F., Broderick, N. A., … & Warren, Z. (2021). “Use of the TELE-ASD-PEDS for autism evaluations in response to COVID-19: Preliminary outcomes and clinician acceptability.” Journal of autism and developmental disorders, 51, 3063-3072

ASDQ & Autism Analytica: Frazier, T. W. et al., (2023) “Reliability of Autism Measures ” Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders.

ASDQ & Autism Analytica: Frazier, T. W., Chetcuti, L., Al‐Shaban, F. A., Haslam, N., Ghazal, I., Klingemier, E. W., … & Uljarević, M. (2023). “Categorical versus dimensional structure of autism spectrum disorder: A multi‐method investigation.” JCPP Advances, e12142.

M-CHAT-R: Wieckowski, A.T., Williams, L.N., Rando, J., Lyall, K., Robins, D.L. (2023). Sensitivity and Specificity of the Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers (Original and Revised): A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. JAMA Pediatr. 2023 Apr 1;177(4):373-383. doi: 10.1001/jamapediatrics.2022.5975.

M-CHAT-R: Attar, S.M., Bradstreet, L.E., Ramsey, R.K., Kelly, K., Robins, D.L. Validation of the Electronic Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers, Revised with Follow-Up: A Nonrandomized Controlled Trial. J Pediatr. 2023 Feb 2;262:113343. doi: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2022.11.044. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 36736890; PMCID: PMC10390646.

M-CHAT-R: Sánchez-García AB, Galindo-Villardón P, Nieto-Librero AB, Martín-Rodero H, Robins DL. Toddler Screening for Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Meta-Analysis of Diagnostic Accuracy. J Autism Dev Disord. 2019 May;49(5):1837-1852. doi: 10.1007/s10803-018-03865-2. PMID: 30617550; PMCID: PMC6483963.

M-CHAT-R: Robins, D.L., Casagrande, K., Barton, M., Chen, C.M., Dumont-Mathieu, T., Fein, D. Validation of the modified checklist for Autism in toddlers, revised with follow-up (M-CHAT-R/F). Pediatrics. 2014 Jan;133(1):37-45. doi: 10.1542/peds.2013-1813. Epub 2013 Dec 23. PMID: 24366990; PMCID: PMC3876182.

M-CHAT-R: Kleinman, J.M., Robins, D.L., Ventola, P.E. et al. The Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers: A Follow-up Study Investigating the Early Detection of Autism Spectrum Disorders. J Autism Dev Disord 38, 827–839 (2008).

M-CHAT-R: Pandey, J., Verbalis, A., Robins, D. L., Boorstein, H., Klin, A., Babitz, T., Chawarska, K., Volkmar, F., Green, J., Barton, M., & Fein, D. (2008). Screening for autism in older and younger toddlers with the Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers. Autism, 12(5), 513-535.

M-CHAT-R: Robins, D.L., Fein, D., Barton, M.L. et al. The Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers: An Initial Study Investigating the Early Detection of Autism and Pervasive Developmental Disorders. J Autism Dev Disord 31, 131–144 (2001).

Research Support for Evidence-Based Virtual Diagnostic Model

Zwaigenbaum, Lonnie, Somer Bishop, Wendy L. Stone, Lisa Ibanez, Alycia Halladay, Sylvie Goldman, Amy Kelly et al. “Rethinking autism spectrum disorder assessment for children during COVID-19 and beyond.” Autism Research (2021).

Lord, Catherine, et al. “The Lancet Commission on the future of care and clinical research in autism.” The Lancet (2021).

Guan, Xiaoning, Lonnie Zwaigenbaum, and Lyn K. Sonnenberg. “Building Capacity for Community Pediatric Autism Diagnosis: A Systemic Review of Physician Training Programs.” Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics 43, no. 1 (2022): 44-54.

Jang, Jina, Stormi Pulver White, Amy N. Esler, So Hyun Kim, Cheryl Klaiman, Jonathan T. Megerian, Amy Morse, Cy Nadler, and Stephen M. Kanne. “Diagnostic evaluations of autism spectrum disorder during the COVID-19 pandemic.” Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders (2021): 1-12.

Juárez AP, Weitlauf AS, Nicholson A, et al. “Early Identification of ASD Through Telemedicine: Potential Value for Underserved Populations.” J Autism Dev Disord. 2018;48(8):2601-2610. doi:10.1007/s10803-018-3524-y

Clinical research is a cornerstone of our unwavering commitment to advancing care for children.

Built on a foundation of research, our clinical paradigm was shaped by the findings of autism experts nationwide. In line with the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Clinical Report  and Addressing current barriers to autism diagnoses through a tiered diagnostic approach involving pediatric primary care providers, our evaluation process utilizes assessments recommended for autism diagnoses (Table 1). We use standardized screening questionnaires to collect information from caregivers (Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers – Revised (MCHAT-R), Autism Symptoms Dimensions Questionnaire (ASDQ)). Our physicians also record families’ concerns through a standard DSM-5 interview and observe child behaviors using validated assessment tools, such as the Childhood Autism Rating Scale, Second Edition based on patient observation (CARS‐2obs), and the TELE-ASD-PEDS (TAP). These peer-reviewed measures are among those recommended by the AAP. 

Interested in collaborating with us?

Contact Us

We Accept

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Don’t see your health insurance provider listed? Don’t get discouraged! We work with commercial insurance plans, TRICARE, traditional state Medicaid plans and managed care partners. We are constantly expanding our relationships as we grow. And, as a part of our process, our support team will review a child’s insurance benefits with their parent or guardian before the first appointment. To get started families can submit this form or contact our support team at 866.219.8595Participation may vary by state and each child’s health insurance benefits.

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