The Childhood Autism Spectrum Test (CAST; Scott, Baron-Cohen, Bolton, & Brayne, 2002) (formerly known as the Childhood Asperger Syndrome Test) is a parent questionnaire that screens for autism in children ages 5-11 years.
The Childhood Autism Spectrum Test (CAST; Scott, Baron-Cohen, Bolton, & Brayne, 2002) (formerly known as the Childhood Asperger Syndrome Test) is a parent questionnaire designed to screen for autism spectrum disorder among children aged 5 to 11 years. It was developed to be sensitive to autism spectrum conditions in the mainstream school population (i.e., for use predominantly in children with cognitive ability in the average range) (Scott et al., 2002). The instrument is a 37-item yes/no parent questionnaire; results yield a total score that can be compared to a cut-off score of 15. The CAST has been translated into many languages, and free downloads of all measures in all languages are available on the website included below the summary table.
Age: 5 years to 11 years
Time to Administer: Approximately 20 minutes
Method of Administration: Parent questionnaire of 37 yes/no items
Yields cutoff score
CAST has good accuracy for use as a screening test, with high sensitivity (100%). However, it has low positive predictive value (50%), resulting in a high false positive rate. Test-retest reliability over a long period of time is strong; scores rarely increase over time, many decrease.
Conclusion: the CAST could be a useful screening test in epidemiological studies but it is not an appropriate general population screening in public health or educational settings.