Relationships Between the Web-Based SNAP-IV and Commercial Measures of Core ADHD Symptoms in Children with ASD
Clinicians, educators, and researchers have many alternative psychometric measures available to them tapping symptoms of ADHD. With the advent of DSM-5, a diagnosis of ADHD is no longer precluded in a child with ASD—and thus the need for assessment of ADHD in this population will likely rise. Although many commercially available instruments have excellent psychometric characteristics and provide information regarding comorbid conditions (e.g., anxiety), there are circumstances when these instruments are either unavailable (e.g., a parent seeking preliminary information) or when the cost of commercial instruments is prohibitive (e.g., in a rural school district with minimal psychological assessment funding). In these circumstances, a no-cost web-based screen for ADHD would be a helpful first step in determining which children with ASD might warrant a comprehensive follow-up evaluation. What is unknown is how strongly related internet-based and commercial measures of ADHD symptoms are in children with ASD.
The purpose of this study was to compare parent and teacher ratings of ADHD symptoms (e.g., inattention, hyperactivity) on the SNAP-IV [available at www.adhd.net] to parent and teacher ratings of ADHD symptoms on widely used commercial measures of ADHD symptoms.
Participants were 77 children (63 boys; mean age=9.3 yrs; mean IQ=86) who met DSM-IV criteria for autism on the ADI-R and the ADOS. Parent ratings on 12 subscales tapping ADHD symptoms on the Conners Parent Rating Scale-Revised (CPRS-R), Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL), Aberrant Behavior Checklist (ABC) and ADD-H Comprehensive Teacher's Rating Scale (ACTeRS) were compared to parent ratings on 2 subscales on the SNAP-IV tapping ADHD symptoms, using correlational methods. Similar comparisons were performed for corresponding teacher ratings.
Significant correlations (all p<.01, range: r=.30 to r=82; average r=.60) were obtained between the parent ratings of ADHD symptoms on the SNAP-IV with parent ratings of ADHD on the CPRS-R, CBCL, ABC, and ACTeRS. A similar pattern was seen for teacher ratings (all p<.01, range: r=.27 to r=.86; average r=.61).
These findings indicate that the parent and teacher ADHD ratings on this web-based measure of ADHD are highly correlated with commercial measures of ADHD in school-age children with ASD. Thus, the SNAP-IV, a web-based measure of ADHD symptomatology, would appear to have a helpful role in screening for a comprehensive assessment providing information regarding clinical severity of ADHD symptoms and its commonly comorbid concerns in school-age children with ASD.