What is the TELE-ASD-PEDS (TAP)?

TAP is a tool designed for use by providers and families during a telehealth assessment for autism. Using TAP, a provider walks a parent through several basic tasks with their child. These tasks allow the provider to watch for the presence of autism symptoms. Administration is meant to take 10-20 minutes. The entire tele-visit, inclusive of other elements, will take longer.

Data collection and analysis of psychometric properties is ongoing (clinicaltrials.gov, NCT03847337). Subscribe to receive email notification of updates to TAP.

For what age range was TAP designed?

TAP was designed for use with children under 36 months of age who have been referred due to concerns for possible autism spectrum disorder. This measure may not be appropriate for children with flexible phrase speech (e.g., once a child is appropriate for an ADOS-2, Module 2).

Is TAP a screening tool or a diagnostic instrument?

This is designed to be one of many tools that can allow a trained provider to make core behavioral observations of children at significant risk for ASD. The outcomes from those observations, including any decision regarding diagnosis, are based on the confidence and training of the provider and the information they have, not solely on the score from this rating form. TAP is meant to be used as one part of an evaluation by a trained professional, not on its own.

Who can use TAP?

TAP is designed for providers with expertise in recognizing autism symptoms and diagnosing autism spectrum disorder in toddlers. At VUMC, it is used by psychologists and licensed senior psychological examiners with specific experience diagnosing ASD in toddlers. We have also successfully trained speech-language pathologists, developmental pediatricians, nurse practitioners, and other allied health professionals with ASD assessment experience in rapid assessment models for early recognition of ASD.

Have you published on TAP?

Publications related to TAP include:

  • Corona, L. L., Weitlauf, A. S., Hine, J., Berman, A., Miceli, A., Nicholson, A., Stone, C., Broderick, N., Francis, S., Juárez, A. P., Vehorn, A., Wagner, L., & Warren, Z. (2020). Parent perceptions of caregiver-mediated telemedicine tools for assessing autism risk in toddlers. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 1-11. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10803-020-04554-9
  • For a description of our internal model of tele-assessment during COVID-19 and our internal use of the TAP, please see the following manuscript:
    Wagner, L., Corona, L.L., Weitlauf, A.S. et al. Use of the TELE-ASD-PEDS for Autism Evaluations in Response to COVID-19: Preliminary Outcomes and Clinician Acceptability. J Autism Dev Disord (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10803-020-04767-y
  • For a description of the analytic and clinical procedures involved in the development of the TAP, please see the following manuscript:
    Corona, L.L., Wagner, L., Wade, J. et al. Toward Novel Tools for Autism Identification: Fusing Computational and Clinical Expertise. J Autism Dev Disord (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10803-020-04857-x

Additional publications on TAP are in progress or under review at this time.

For information on our other telediagnostic work, please consult the following references:

  • Juárez AP, Weitlauf AS, Nicholson A, Pasternak A, Broderick N, Hine J, Stainbrook JA, Warren Z. Early identification of ASD through telemedicine: potential value for underserved populations. Journal of autism and developmental disorders. 2018 Aug 1;48(8):2601-10. www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29527626
  • Stainbrook JA, Weitlauf AS, Juárez AP, Taylor JL, Hine J, Broderick N, Nicholson A, Warren Z. Measuring the service system impact of a novel telediagnostic service program for young children with autism spectrum disorder. Autism. 2019 May;23(4):1051-6. www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30112912

How can I cite TAP?

Corona, L., Hine, J., Nicholson, A., Stone, C., Swanson, A., Wade, J., Wagner, L., Weitlauf, A., & Warren, Z. (2020). TELE-ASD-PEDS: A Telemedicine-based ASD Evaluation Tool for Toddlers and Young Children. Vanderbilt University Medical Center. https://vkc.vumc.org/vkc/triad/tele-asd-peds

How do I learn more about telemedicine-based ASD assessment in toddlers?

We have several resources available on our learning platform. These tools are free, but you must log in to download them using these instructions:

  1. Go to triad.vkclearning.org
  2. Create a free account by clicking on “Register.” You will create a username and password. Fill out the form and select “TRIAD” under “Choose the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center Division for Course Access.” You will receive an email verification. Once you do, click the link to verify your account and log in.
  3. Choose Telehealth Resources logo
  4. Click “open” next to “Telemedicine-based ASD Assessment in Toddlers (TELE-ASD-PEDS)”

TRIAD Screen Capture from Vanderbilt Kennedy Center TRIAD on Vimeo.

What tools are available after I log in?

  • Webinar Recordings that describe the background, development, and use of TAP
    • 3/25/20 – Telemedicine-based Autism Spectrum Disorder Assessment in Toddlers
    • 3/31/20 – Telemedicine-based Autism Spectrum Disorder Assessment in Toddlers
    • Guided Notes for “Telemedicine-based Autism Spectrum Disorder Assessment in Toddlers” webinar
    • Webinar Q&A Segment with Dr. Warren
  • NEW VIDEO! Preparing for Your Telehealth Appointment [5:38]
  • Frequency Asked Questions about telemedicine-based ASD assessment in toddlers
    • Telemedicine-based ASD Assessment FAQ
    • Selected References
    • TELE-ASD-PEDS Administration Guidelines
    • TELE-ASD-PEDS Rating Form
    • Sample TELE-ASD-PEDS Language for Reports
  • Supports for Telehealth Assessment
    • Script for Scheduling Families for Telehealth
    • Preparing for Your Telehealth Appointment
    • What is Zoom?
  • Diagnostic Interviews and Checklists
    • DSM-5 Checklist
    • DSM-5 ASD Young Child Interview
    • Toddler Medical and Developmental History

Other TRIAD live webinars are listed at: triad.vumc.org/livewebinars

NEW! Preparing for Your Telehealth Appointment

New! Overview of Updates to the TAP Rating Form

With other questions, please contact: