Estimation of the Prevalence of Autism in Periurban Centers in Lima, Peru
Eye contact between infants and caretakers provides an important diagnostic tool for autism spectrum disorders. This study will determine the prevalence of autism in a population-based study in children to assess the capacity of our eye tracking, web-based telediagnostics application to detect ASD in young children. Our preliminary data demonstrates that a combined eye tracking and MCHAT test has a 91% sensitivity and 75% specificity compared to ADOS. In addition, using a case control approach, we will determine what risk factors will be predictive in this population for the presence of an ADOS positive child. In addition, we will test all consenting children between 5 and 12 years in the control families and ADOS positive families to determine if the ADOS positive children also have an increased tendency to have other siblings with ADS. We will perform a study to assess the prevalence of ASD in an underserved population of Lima, Peru using ADOS testing. We will evaluate the gaze preference eye tracking system and MCHAT questionnaire as a home- or office-based surveillance tool for ASD to determine the prevalence in 18 to 60-month-old children.
Performing eye-tracking and MCHAT detection using cheap tablets, internet connectivity, and WEB servers will allow the diagnosis of autism or early identification of risk factors to reach areas where no experts or infrastructure are currently available. If eye tracking and MCHAT are able to diagnose children with ASD with equivalent ability to ADOS, then it will enable studies to take place in poor, underserved areas. It will also allow these children to obtain therapy at an early age rather than after their starting school. The results of this study will also provide a model for early diagnosis and care of children with ASD in Peru and other developing countries.