Autism Assessment Tools
The Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS) - Gold Standard
The Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS) is a semi-structured assessment of communication, social interaction, and play (or imaginative use of materials) for individuals suspected of having autism or other pervasive developmental disorders. The ADOS consists of four modules, each of which is appropriate for children of differing developmental and language levels, ranging from nonverbal to verbally-fluent.
The ADOS consists of standardized activities that allow the examiner to observe the occurrence or non-occurrence of behaviors that have been identified as important to the diagnosis of autism and other pervasive developmental disorders across developmental levels and chronological ages. The examiner selects the module that is most appropriate for a particular child on the basis of his/her expressive language level and chronological age. Structured activities and materials, as well as less structured interactions, provide standardized contexts in which social, communicative and other behaviors relevant to pervasive developmental disorders are observed. Within each module, the participant's response to each activity is recorded. Overall ratings are made at the end of the schedule. These ratings can then be used to formulate a diagnosis through the use of a diagnostic algorithm for each module.
Autism Diagnostic Interview-Revised
The Autism Diagnostic Interview-Revised (ADI-R) is one of the most widely used diagnostic algorithms in determining whether or not children have autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Together with the ADOS (Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule), it is the diagnostic tool of choice for many public school systems and psychology professionals when evaluating kids suspected of being on the spectrum.
Unlike the ADOS, however, ADI-R does not directly involve the child—instead, it is an interview conducted by a trained researcher or psychologist with the child’s parents or other caregivers. The ADI-R focuses on the developmental history of the child, relying on the memory of the people closest to them – mom and dad.