Trainings for the ADI-R, ADOS and ADOS-2 are structured either as “clinical” training days where participants observe Dr. Olson administer the measure and be expected to complete consensus coding, or “research” training days where participants themselves administer portions of whichever measure they are being trained on. So for example, Clinical ADOS Trainings are usually conducted over 2 days and involve live administrations of the ADOS modules on each day of the trainings (one per module pair), with participants observing Dr. Olson administer at least one of each module pair to a live volunteer and be expected to complete consensus coding. Research Reliable ADOS Trainings include two additional “research” training days where participants themselves administer portions of the ADOS protocol to live volunteers under Dr. Olson’s supervision. Both pieces of training, the Clinical ADOS Training and the Research Reliability Training are required on-site for those who intend to use the ADOS in their research and pursue research reliability calibration. ADI-R Trainings are similar in that they begin first on day one with a demonstration by Dr. Olson in the use of the interview with a live parent volunteer, followed on day two by each participant administering a portion of the interview themselves to additional parent volunteers.
A word about Qualifications for ADOS & ADI-R Clinical Training
The authors of the ADOS, ADOS-2 and ADI-R clearly state that these instruments should be used by professionals who are very familiar with Autism and Autism Spectrum Disorders and who have education, training and experience in clinical interviewing and assessment of individuals with Autism and other developmental disabilities. As a diagnostic measure intended to aid in diagnosis, the ADOS and ADOS-2 (including the Toddler Module) should be used by professionals qualified to give medical, psychiatric or psychological diagnoses. When used to aid in treatment planning or evaluation, the ADOS and ADOS-2 can be used by a wider array of clinicians (e.g., school psychologists, speech and language pathologists, occupational therapists) who, prior to the workshop have education, training and experience in using individually administered test batteries and who have a background and experience in the treatment of Autism.
Note, however that simple attendance at an ADOS, ADOS-2 or ADI-R training alone is not sufficient to ensure competence in the use of these measures and does not alone qualify someone to administer and interpret findings yielded from the instruments. Learning the standardized methods of administration, beginning to calibrate one’s scoring, establishing competency or achieving the fine points of research reliability, in the long run these can only be achieved through repeated practice and in many cases ongoing support and supervision.
The authors note that examiners with considerable prior experience in making formal observations and administering individual assessments may come to complete familiarity with the activities and establish complete confidence they are applying the coding categories accurately in as few as 8 pratice sessions (2 per module for a total of approximately 16 administrations). Others may take considerably more practice.