Stories about ASD

A Screening Research Roadmap

ASD Roadmap

A Model Research Roadmap for ASD Screening

How each stage of research interacts with elements of an integrated network to progress towards important outcomes using specific practices

First published January 28, 2019; updated June 20, 2019



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ASD SCREENING using the CHAT+ will help to rapidly and accurately refer children at high risk for ASD, warranting referral for a DIAGNOSTIC ASSESSMENT, and ultimately resulting in earlier access to specialized education and treatment

Basic Research

1st Goal: To identify distinct features of ASD that can be readily assessed

Causes      Characteristics      Trajectories      Sub-types

1st Milestone: Specific indicators and related methods of assessment are integrated into a new screening practice for identifying very young children at high risk for ASD,  as confirmed via subsequent clinical diagnosis


1. Clinical Research

2nd Goal: To develop the use of the CHAT+ to reliably identify children at high risk for ASD

1. Pilot the CHAT+

2. Demonstrate the validity and reliability of the CHAT+ in a core population

3. Adapt the CHAT+ for use in community settings

Later stage: Extend the use of the CHAT+ to other populations and settings

2nd Milestone: The use of the CHAT+ is valid and reliable, with the potential to be used effectively by community-based practitioners to accurately identify ASD within a core population.


2. Implementation Research

3rd Goal: To demonstrate how professionals in the community can reliably use the CHAT+ to screen for ASD across diverse populations, and on a large scale

1. Assess delivery and gaps in access to the CHAT+ in community settings

2. Demonstrate how to improve delivery and close gaps in use of the CHAT+

3. Demonstrate systematic and comprehensive use of the CHAT+ across all populations in a region

3rd Milestone: Community-based programs can be trained to systematically screen for ASD using the CHAT+ across an entire region, and across diverse settings and  populations.




Rapid and accurate referral for diagnosis

3. Other Applied Research

4th Goal: To demonstrate how use of the CHAT+ has been integrated into daily practice across an entire population, with a broad range of impacts

1. Track large improvements in identification resulting from use of the CHAT+ across the full range of populations and setting

 2. Describe how use of the CHAT+ has been integrated into other relevant practices

3. Explore distal impacts of the use of the CHAT+ (i.e., improved identification and treatment of ASD)

4th Milestone: Community-based programs across a large region have integrated the use of the CHAT+ into their regular practice across the full-range of populations and setting, resulting in improved identification and treatment of ASD

The logo is adapted from Joaquim Alves Gaspar's drawing of Pedro Reinel's compass rose.