Elizabeth Torres, Associate Professor of Psychology, on Autism Diagnosis Test Improvements
Read the journal by Torres, Richa Rai (Rutgers), Sejal Mistry (Rutgers), and Brenda Gupta (Montclair) here
Dr. Elizabeth Torres, associate professor of psychology in Rutgers’ School of Arts and Sciences, and director of The New Jersey Autism Center of Excellence had an article about her notable research on the inadequacies of autism testing featured in Rutgers Today. See the full article for more information about the inconsistencies in a broadly used autism test.
“The ADOS [Autism Diagnostic Observational Schedule] test informs and steers much of the science of autism, and it has done great work thus far... however, social interactions are much too complex and fast to be captured by the naked eye, particularly when the grader is biased to look for specific signs and to expect specific behaviors.”
The researchers suggest combining clinical observations with data from wearable biosensors, such as smartwatches, smartphones and other off-the-shelf technology. Autism researchers should aim for tests that capture the accelerated rate of change of neurodevelopment to help develop treatments that slow down the aging of the nervous system.