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Validity of The Warner Initial Developmental Evaluation of Adaptive and Functional Skills (WIDEA-FS): a daily activity criterion checklist for infants and toddlers

Abstract

Background

The Warner Initial Developmental Evaluation of Adaptive and Functional Skills (WIDEA-FS) is a 50-item, criterion-specified questionnaire that assesses a child’s adaptive skills in everyday context and can be used in high-risk follow-up settings to identify risk for adverse neurodevelopmental outcome. Our aim was to validate the WIDEA-FS by comparing a sample of typically developing children to children with special health needs and to compare results to the Capute Scales, which include domains of including both the Cognitive Adaptive Test (CAT) and the Clinical Linguistic and Auditory Milestone Scale (CLAMS).

Methods

Six hundred and sixty children (typically developing and having special healthcare needs) aged 0–36 months completed the WIDEA-FS, the CAT, and the CLAMS assessments.

Results

Children with special health needs scored significantly lower on the WIDEA than those with typical development. WIDEA-FS subscales were significantly associated with the CAT (WIDEA-FS self-care 0.87, social cognition 0.89) and the CLAMS (WIDEA-FS communication 0.96, social cognition 0.92) tests.

Conclusions

The WIDEA-FS has concurrent validity with the CAT and CLAMS and construct validity in that children with special health needs have significantly poorer performance on the WIDEA-FS than children with typical development.

Impact

  • The WIDEA-FS demonstrated both construct validity and concurrent validity with the Capute Scales, including the Cognitive Adaptive Test (CAT) and the Clinical Linguistic and Auditory Milestone Scale (CLAMS).

  • This is the first study to validate the use of the WIDEA-FS in children with typical development and children with special healthcare needs.

  • The WIDEA-FS is a quick and valid checklist that can be used to assess neurodevelopmental functioning during daily activities in typically developing children and those at risk for neurodevelopmental differences.

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Fig. 1: Scatterplots of WIDEA-FS scores by age of typically developing children and children with special health needs.

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Acknowledgements

This project required a multidisciplinary network of developmental pediatricians, pediatric nurse practitioners, pediatric physical, occupational, and speech language therapists, early child educators, and community pediatricians. We are grateful to Nancy Lyon, Kim McKernan, and James Roistacher for community outreach and engagement. This study was supported by a grant from the Children’s Guild of Buffalo. M.E.M. is also funded in part by Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disorders Training Program (LEND)—Illinois T73 MC11047 HRSA/DHHS.

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Each author has met the Pediatric Research author requirements. C.P., K.W., J.P., C.C., and M.E.M. contributed to conception and design, analysis and interpretation of data, and drafts of the manuscript. K.M., N.L., C.P.B., B.T.R., J.R., F.A.C., and M.E.M. contributed to acquisition of data. All the listed authors contributed to revising the article for intellectual content and all authors approved the final draft.

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Correspondence to Colleen Peyton.

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The authors declare no competing interests.

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Peyton, C., Wroblewski, K., Park, J. et al. Validity of The Warner Initial Developmental Evaluation of Adaptive and Functional Skills (WIDEA-FS): a daily activity criterion checklist for infants and toddlers. Pediatr Res (2021). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41390-020-01342-0

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