Behaviour and diagnosis

Kate Langley and Sue Leekam carry out research on the behavioural patterns in ASD. This work has provided new findings that are informing the area of diagnosis in ASD and other neurodevelopmental conditions.

Kate Langley’s research examines traits for ASD directly in comparison with those from ADHD and learning difficulties. One of our key aims for future work is to investigate developmental and neurobiological factors in the emergence of ASD traits in ADHD, OCD, schizotypy and learning difficulties. She is also investigating the role of genetic variants (CNVs) in predicting ASD symptomotology.

Members of WARC, including Rachel Kent and Sarah Carrington, have developed diagnostic assessment tools for the Diagnostic Interview for Social and Communication Disorders (DISCO) and are carrying out research to examine the effectiveness of these tools. This has included the development of an abbreviated version of the DISCO, reducing the 320 item tool to a 68 item version. The abbreviated version is more time-effective for clinicians, supporting the diagnostic process. WARC members have been training clinicians on the use of the DISCO-Abbreviated. You can read more about this research on our Research Highlights page.