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More Groundbreaking Research for Diagnosing Autism

new test for autismGiven the current plethora of information about two recent studies for diagnosing autism, it seemed only relevant to mention them in this blog. Titles like “Instant Test for Autism,” “First Biological Test for Autism” and “Brain Scans Detect Autism” are all over the Internet and news reports.

3 thoughts on “More Groundbreaking Research for Diagnosing Autism

  • December 6, 2010 at 12:20 pm

    From the book “AN AUTISTIC WORLD (1)”

    The struggle of recognizing that our ignorance is the main force that inspires our unexpected knowledge along most of our brief lives can be overwhelming. How else can we understand something that for whatever reason we didn’t know existed previously? Wanted or not, we must deal with the spaces found between our steps and the best way that Man has discovered to do so, is by repeating the event as many times as necessary to overcome fear, and subsequently paralysis. That doesn’t appear very smart. I mean that it is confusing to admit that the basis of our intelligence resides in how well we are able to deal with those voids, mostly by repeating the event and experimenting with the results, not in some sort of abstract juggle of concepts and ideas. Therefore, it is unavoidable that truth could emerge far off from an intelligent person, since fact can be obscured by ravishing fiction.

    The consideration based on accepting that the foundation of our knowledge and the fundamentals of our intelligence appears at its core to be a definite repetition of experiences, takes away a great deal of cleverness and ingeniousness from the individual. The word “repetition” removes with a swift blow the outer layers of brightness and skillfulness that we have placed around our lives, to provide us with confidence and self-esteem, shielding us from what we really are, simple and limited human beings.

  • December 7, 2010 at 2:30 pm

    From the abstract–“These six multivariate measurements possess very high ability to discriminate individuals with autism from individuals without autism with 94% sensitivity, 90% specificity, and 92% accuracy in our original and replication samples.”

    So this sounds really good, but here’s the big problem: The 90% specificity. That means that, if you tested a bunch of non-autistic people, 10% of the time, the test would say they were autistic.

    So there’s actually a rather large error rate. If 1:100 people are autistic, and you test a thousand people (of whom ten should be autistic), then you end up with 100 people who test autistic. Of these, only nine or ten will actually be autistic.

    So, what this test actually has is a 91% false-positive rate. That is, if you test positive, there’s a 91% chance that you’re NOT autistic.

    Useful to confirm a diagnosis? Possibly. Useful as a screening test? Heck no.

  • November 22, 2011 at 10:08 am

    Screening tests are not meant to be specific. The idea is that you screen for possibles with as high a sensitivity as you can and then further test to weed out the false positives.The way you have calculated the numbers is not accurate either.This actually looks like it has potential as a pretty good early screener.


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