One simple questionnaire could help spot autism in many countries
But she said producing a universal screening questionnaire “is an impossible task”.
These countries need globally applicable screening instruments for research and clinical work, she said.“The vast majority of autism research is done in high-income western countries,” said Hoekstra.
In Anglophone countries, parents typically interpreted the question to refer to events without prior planning, which would upset an autistic child.
Five were predictive for autism across all three countries, although four questions indicated potential cultural differences.Hoekstra said she embarked on the research to address the problem that up to 95 per cent of autism cases go undiagnosed in low- and middle-income countries.
Still, it could be used to screen a large number of children to identify those that need further assessment, she says.