Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS)
About the ADOS
by Catherine Lord, Ph.D., Michael Rutter, M.D., FRS, Pamela C. DiLavore, Ph.D., Susan Risi, Ph.D.,
The ADOS (Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule) is a semi-structured standardized observational method used for assessing communication, reciprocal social interaction, play and restricted or repetitive behaviors or interests in individuals of all ages who have been referred because of possible Autism or other Pervasive Developmental Disorders (PDD). This measure used for decades in research has along with the ADI-R, become a standard means of direct assessment for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders in research and clinical practice alike. Used with children as young as 12 months, and through adulthood, the ADOS is intended to create a social context through which observations can be made about the quality of engagement with the examiner, patterns of communication, and appropriateness of play, as well as the presence of stereotypic, repetitive, or atypical behaviors and interests. Behaviors are coded, interpreted and then compiled on an algorithm which yields classifications of Autism Spectrum or Non-Spectrum. The results are then used to support diagnosis, identify behaviors for intervention, monitor growth or progress, and/or develop individualized educational goals.
- 2-Day ADOS Clinical Trainings (an introduction to ADOS and the first step to obtaining reliability). Using a combination of lecture, live demonstration and large group scoring discussions, participants will be introduced to each module set of the measure (1 per day).
- 4-Day ADOS Research Trainings (using ADOS for use in research purposes with the intent to establish reliability). Participants will receive direct “hands on” instruction and individualized supervision as they each begin to apply knowledge learned by administering themselves portions of the ADOS with additional live volunteers.
- Refresher, Intermediate, Advanced, Singleton and Reliability Trainings are also available upon request.
Over the course of these trainings, attendees will:
- Be introduced to the standardized administration procedures of each task in all four modules.
- Be introduced to the standardized procedures involved in recording and coding behaviors observed.
- Observe standardized administration of both module sets (Modules ½ and ¾).
- Learn to calculate classifications from completed algorithms.
- Understand how the ADOS can assist in the diagnosis of Autism and other Pervasive Developmental Disorders.
- Recognize the usefulness of the ADOS in targeting behaviors for intervention and/or in developing individualized education plans.
- Take part in scoring discussions which are (1) designed to enhance their understanding of the standardized scoring procedures and (2) intended to facilitate accurate coding of behaviors observed.
- Administer and score sections of the modules themselves to live child volunteers with autism spectrum disorders (4-Day ADOS Research Training Only).
- Receive supervision and feedback of their administration (4-Day ADOS Research Training Only).
- Discuss the usefulness of the results in the context of the comprehensive autism assessment and for determining differential diagnosis.
- Understand the procedures involved in achieving reliability on the measure.
ADOS DVD training packages are available through WPS and are especially useful as a supplementary aide for those seeking to learn more or achieve greater competence. As always, those who intend to use the ADOS in research must attend in-person training for all of the four days.
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