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Autism Research

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Autism, Autism in adolescence -- Case studies


High quality science relies upon psychometrically valid and reliable measurement, yet very few Patient Reported Outcome Measures (PROMs) have been developed or thoroughly validated for use with autistic individuals. The present commentary summarizes the current state of autism PROM science, based on discussion at the Special Interest Group (SIG) at the 2022 International Society for Autism Research (INSAR) Annual Meeting and collective expertise of the authors. First, we identify current issues in autism PROM research including content and construct operationalization, informant-structure, measure accessibility, and measure validation and generalization. We then enumerate barriers to conducting and disseminating this research, such as a lack of guidance, concerns regarding funding and time, lack of accessible training and professionals with psychometric skills, difficulties collecting large representative samples, and challenges with dissemination. Lastly, we offer future priorities and resources to improve PROMs in autism research including a need to continue to evaluate and develop PROMs for autistic people using robust methods, to prioritize diverse and representative samples, to expand the breadth of psychometric properties and techniques, and to consider developing field specific guidelines. We remain extremely optimistic about the future directions of this area of autism research. This work is well positioned to have an immense, positive impact on our scientific understanding of autism and the everyday lives of autistic people and their families.


This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs License, which permits use and distribution in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, the use is non-commercial and no modifications or adaptations are made. © 2024 The Authors. Autism Research published by International Society for Autism Research and Wiley Periodicals LLC.

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