This paper provides an overview of the design and cohort characteristics of the Social Spectrum Study: a clinical cohort study that used a two-phase sampling design to identify children at risk for ASD. After screening 1281 children aged 2.5–10 years who had been consecutively referred to one of six mental health services in the Netherlands, children who screened positive for ASD (n = 428) and a random selection of screen negatives (n = 240) were invited to participate in diagnostic assessments and questionnaires regarding the child, family and society. A 1-year follow-up was also conducted. Results from this study may contribute to knowledge of the identification and characterization of children with ASD, family processes, and the impact of ASD on the family and society.

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Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

Duvekot, J., Hoopen, L.W. (Leontine W. ten), Slappendel, G., van der Ende, J., Verhulst, F., van der Sijde, A., & Greaves-Lord, K. (2017). Design and Cohort Characteristics of the Social Spectrum Study: A Multicenter Study of the Autism Spectrum Among Clinically Referred Children. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 47(1), 33–48. doi:10.1007/s10803-016-2919-x