Afef Saihi and Hussam Alshraideh, American University of Sharjah, UAE
Autism spectrum disorder ASD is a neurodevelopmental disorder associated with challenges in communication, social interaction, and repetitive behaviors. Getting a clear diagnosis for a child is necessary for starting early intervention and having access to therapy services. However, there are many barriers that hinder the screening of these kids for autism at an early stage which might delay further the access to therapeutic interventions. One promising direction for improving the efficiency and accuracy of ASD detection in toddlers is the use of machine learning techniques to build classifiers that serve the purpose. This paper contributes to this area and uses the data developed by Dr. Fadi Fayez Thabtah to train and test various machine learning classifiers for the early ASD screening. Based on various attributes, three models have been trained and compared which are Decision tree C4.5, Random Forest, and Neural Network. The three models provided very good accuracies based on testing data, however, it is the Neural Network that outperformed the other two models. This work contributes to the early screening of toddlers by helping identify those who have ASD traits and should pursue formal clinical diagnosis.
Autism Spectrum Disorder, Screening, Machine Learning, Decision Tree, Random Forest, Neural Network, Classifier, Accuracy.