ADOS-2 & Toddler Module Available!

The Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule-2 is set to be released by WPS May 12th, 2012 and will continue the ADOS’ long history as the ‘gold standard’ observational method of assessment for autism symptomatology.  A revision of the ADOS, it provides updated protocols, revised algorithms for Modules 1, 2 and 3, a new “Comparison Score” (known in the literature as a severity metric score) and the inclusion of the long-awaited Toddler Module, a downward extension of the ADOS Module 1 for toddlers down to 12-months of age not yet using phrase speech.

Clinical demand for the use of the ADOS has exponentially increased in recent years.  Research indicates that while more and more infants and toddlers have come to the attention of medical personnel, the age of diagnosis has remained fairly stable as children enter into preschool or more formal schooling.

In a study published in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, (Gotham, Risi, Pickles & Lord, 2007, The Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule: Algorithms for Improved Diagnostic Validity) the authors of the ADOS reported that the ADOS over-diagnoses ASD in nonverbal children with mental ages under 15 months. While the ADOS is a very effective diagnostic measure of autism, specific challenges for assessing autism in very young children exist.  Namely, the way in which the core symptoms of autism, impairments in communication and social reciprocity and the presence of restricted or repetitive behaviors and interests manifest can be very subtle as they emerge and are different depending on age and language level.

For these reasons the authors developed the ADOS Toddler Module, which while retaining the “spirit” of the ADOS provides modified materials and routines, along with other new activities and codes all intended for children between 12 and 30 months of age who have not yet developed phrase speech.

Requiring more structured support from the examiner and emphasizing social responses rather than bids for social initiation, the ADOS Toddler Module captures the variability in early behavior and indicates abnormality not in ADOS classifications but in the provision of “ranges of concern” scores.  Continuing the long tradition of the ADOS, WPS is set to release the Toddler Module May 17, 2012 as the fifth module of the long awaited ADOS-2.

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