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Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS)

For assessing and diagnosing autism and pervasive developmental disorder across ages, developmental levels, and language skills
Author: Catherine Lord, PhD, Michael Rutter, M.D., FRS, Pamela C. DiLavore, Ph.D., and Suan Risi, PhD
Year: 1989
Age Range: Toddlers to adults
Administration Time: 30 to 45 minutes
Administration Type: Individual

Product Description

This semi-structured assessment can be used to evaluate almost anyone suspected of having autism — from toddlers to adults, from children with no speech to adults who are verbally fluent.

The ADOS consists of various activities that allow you to observe social and communication behaviours related to the diagnosis of pervasive developmental disorders. These activities provide interesting, standard contexts in which interaction can occur.

The ADOS includes four modules, each requiring just 35 to 40 minutes to administer. The individual being evaluated is given just one module, depending on his or her expressive language level and chronological age. Following guidance provided in the manual, you select the appropriate module for each person. Module 1 is used with children who do not consistently use phrase speech, Module 2 with those who use phrase speech but are not verbally fluent, Module 3 with fluent children, and Module 4 with fluent adolescents and adults. The one group within the autism spectrum that the ADOS does not address is nonverbal adolescents and adults.

Modules 1 and 2 require you and the child to move around the room. Modules 3 and 4, both of which involve more conversation, can be administered at a table.

The activities provide a 30- to 45-minute observation period full of opportunities for the examinee to exhibit behaviours relevant to a diagnosis of autism or PDD. As you administer the ADOS, you record your observations, then code them later and formulate a diagnosis. Cut-off scores are provided for both the broader diagnosis of PDD/atypical autism/autism spectrum, as well as the traditional, narrower conceptualisation of autism.

Offering standardised materials and ratings, the ADOS gives you a measure of autism spectrum disorder that is unaffected by language. Because it can be used with a wide range of children and adults, it is a cost-effective addition to any hospital, clinic, or school that serves individuals with developmental disorders.

The ADOS/ADI-R/SCQ unlimited-use scoring CD allows you to score all three of these important assessments using just one computer scoring program. The CD provides all of the algorithm scoring functions of the ADOS and ADI-R (use the standard paper-and-pencil administrations for the ADOS (W-365A) and ADI-R (W-382A), and then enter the responses into the computer program for rapid scoring). For the SCQ, use the CD to quickly score paper-and-pencil administrations using the PC Answer Sheet (W-381D or W-381E), or take advantage of convenient onscreen administration.

Training DVDs and Guidebook Available

The training package includes the following:
Training DVD (3 hours, 18 minutes)
Describes ADOS materials, demonstrates administration of each Module, with a voiceover by the author explaining key observations.
Practice Administration DVD 1 (3 hours, 8 minutes)
Duplicates the administrations shown in the Training DVD, but in real time, and without the author’s commentary.
Practice Administration DVD 2 (1 hour, 22 minutes)
Demonstrates two additional administrations, in real time, without the author’s commentary. Practice DVDs 1 and 2 allow you to practice observation and scoring and check your accuracy.

Blank ADOS Observation/Coding Booklets

So that you can practice coding behaviour, one blank Observation/Coding Booklet is provided for each administration session shown in the practice DVDs.


The Guidebook offers administration and scoring instructions and commentary on each of the four administrations shown on the Training DVD, including Practice Administration DVD 1. It also includes a completed Observation and Coding Booklet for each administration shown.