, Volume 38, Issue 2, pp 362-372
Date: 29 Jun 2007

Diagnosing Autism Spectrum Disorders in Pre-school Children Using Two Standardised Assessment Instruments: The ADI-R and the ADOS

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The reliable diagnosis of Autism/Autism Spectrum Disorder in pre-school children is important for access to early intervention and for accurate ascertainment for research. This paper explores the combined use of two standardised assessment instruments—the Autism Diagnostic Interview Revised (ADI-R) and the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS)—in a large sample of pre-school children. The children were recruited to research studies, and a ‘best estimate’ clinical diagnosis reached. The findings show good agreement between the instruments especially for children with core Autism. The instruments appear to have a complementary effect in aiding diagnosis and confirm the importance of a multidisciplinary assessment process with access to information from different sources and settings. The presence of repetitive behaviours during the ADOS appeared of diagnostic significance.