, Volume 39, Issue 9, pp 1305-1320
Date: 05 May 2009

The Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule—Toddler Module: A New Module of a Standardized Diagnostic Measure for Autism Spectrum Disorders

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The Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS; Lord et al., J Autism Dev Disord, 30(3):205–223, 2000) is widely accepted as a “gold standard” diagnostic instrument, but it is of restricted utility with very young children. The purpose of the current project was to modify the ADOS for use in children under 30 months of age. A modified ADOS, the ADOS Toddler Module (or Module T), was used in 360 evaluations. Participants included 182 children with best estimate diagnoses of ASD, non-spectrum developmental delay or typical development. A final set of protocol and algorithm items was selected based on their ability to discriminate the diagnostic groups. The traditional algorithm “cutoffs” approach yielded high sensitivity and specificity, and a new range of concern approach was proposed.

Some of the data from this paper were previously presented at the 2006 International Meeting for Autism Research (IMFAR) in Montreal, the 2nd World Autism Congress & Exhibition in Cape Town, South Africa, the 2007 Society for Research in Child Development conference in Boston, Massachusetts and at the 2008 IMFAR in London, England.