by Ira L. Cohen, PhD, Vicki Sudhalter, PhD
Purpose: Assess responsiveness to intervention in children with a pervasive developmental disorder
Age: 1.6 through to12.5 yrs
Admin: Rating Forms completed by informant (e.g., parent, teacher, caregiver); Individual or group
Time: 30-45 minutes for Extended Forms; 20-30 minutes for Standard Forms
Qualification Level: A (Psychologist)
The PDDBI is an informant-based rating scale that is designed to assist in the assessment of children from the age of 1 year 6 months to 12 years 5 months who have been diagnosed with a pervasive developmental disorder (PDD) as defined by the DSM-IV™. PDD is characterised by severe and pervasive impairments in several areas of development (e.g., communication skills, reciprocal social interaction skills, presence of stereotypical behaviours/activities). Unlike existing assessments for autism/PDD, the PDDBI was developed to assess both problem behaviours as well as appropriate social, language, and learning/memory skills. It was also designed to provide age-standardised scores for both parent and teacher ratings
The PDDBI can be utilised across a variety of settings. For example, it can be used as a clinical tool for assisting in diagnosis and treatment recommendations and for assessing change over time. In addition, the PDDBI can be useful in educational settings (e.g., placement decisions, intervention planning, evaluating outcomes) and research applications (e.g., dependent measure for treatment intervention).
The PDDBI materials include the Professional Manual, the Parent Rating Form, the Teacher Rating Form, the Parent Score Summary Sheet, the Teacher Score Summary Sheet, and the Profile Form. Each of the Rating Forms includes an extended set of items (Parent = PDDBI-PX, with 188 items; Teacher = PDDBI-TX, with 180 items) and a standard set of items (Parent = PDDBI-P and Teacher = PDDBI-T, each with 124 items), allowing you to decide on a case-by-case basis how you wish to administer the items.
The extended form is appropriate for use when you wish to assess other aspects of the child's behaviours beyond those that are specifically associated with autism. These other behaviours (e.g., fear, aggression) may be important if you are concerned with placement issues and treatment recommendations. The standard form is appropriate if the primary concerns are specifically related to autism (e.g., whether treatment is specifically affecting targeted behaviours). The PDDBI Extended Rating Forms consist of 10 domains for both the parent and the teacher versions; the standard forms each consist of six domains. Each domain consists of a variable number of behavioural clusters that best represent that domain. The clusters help to identify the behaviours that contribute most to a child's score on a given domain. Domain scores are divided into two sections: Approach/Withdrawal Problems and Receptive-Expressive Social Communications Abilities.
Standardisation, Reliability, and Validity
The PDDBI is appropriate with children from a broad range of racial/ethnic and socioeconomic contexts. The standardisation sample consisted of 369 parents and 277 teachers of children with well-defined autism from a range of racial/ethnic backgrounds and geographic regions.
- Test-retest stability for the teacher ratings ranged from .65-.99 over an average 2-week interval. For the parent sample, test-retest stability ratings ranged from .38-.91 over a 12-month interval.
- Concurrent validity for the PDDBI was assessed via comparison with the Childhood Autism Rating Scale, the Nisonger Child Behavior Scales, the Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales, and the Griffiths Mental Development Scales.
- Clinical validity was assessed via comparison with the Autism Diagnostic Observation Interview-Revised, the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule-Generic, and the Vineland Adaptive Functioning Level.