Autism Spectrum Diagnosis

Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS)

The Autism Diagnostic Observation schedule is a semi-structured, standardized assessment of communication, social interaction, and play or imaginative use of materials in individuals aged 2years through to adulthood.
The ADOS consists of a variety of social and play based activities that allow the examiner to observe behaviours that have been identified as being important to the diagnosis of Autism spectrum disorders.
Consisting of four modules, the examiner contrives opportunities to observe various skills in language and communication, reciprocal social interaction, play and stereotyped behaviours and restricted interests. Observations are then coded and provide the basis for determining the current diagnosis.

Autism Spectrum Rating Scales (ASRS)

The Autism Spectrum Rating scales are specifically designed to measure behaviours that are associated with the Autism Spectrum Disorders.
The ASRS helps identify characteristics of the Autistic Spectrum Disorders in children aged 2 to 18 years. The various scales on the ASRS cover a wide range of ASD related behavioural deficits, such as difficulties with social and communication skills, engagement in unusual behaviours and struggles with self-regulation. The ASRS also includes a scale that is directly related to the symptomatic criteria from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (Sam Goldstein & Jack A. Naglieri 2010).
The ASRS is also used to evaluate intervention effectiveness over time based on the comparison of behaviours measured at two points of data collection e.g. at the beginning of an intervention and six months later.
The ASRS is used to gather information regarding the above areas from parents/carers and teachers to ensure a thorough examination across all relevant environments.

Autism Diagnostic Procedure:

Diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) is made through conducting comprehensive, evidence based assessment of children suspected of or who display ASD traits.

The assessment process includes the following:

  • Screening assessment using the Autism Spectrum Rating Scales to determine the prevalence of various symptoms of Autism
  • Informal interview with parents/caregivers to determine developmental history
  • Formal observation using the Autism Diagnostic Schedule (ADOS)
  • Observation (pre-school/school) where possible to gather information regarding socialisation and behaviour in the school setting
  • Feedback session outlining assessment outcomes and an opportunity for questions
  • Comprehensive written report within one month of the assessment date