, Volume 44, Issue 10, pp 2400-2412
Date: 11 Nov 2012

Standardizing ADOS Domain Scores: Separating Severity of Social Affect and Restricted and Repetitive Behaviors

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Abstract

Standardized Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS) scores provide a measure of autism severity that is less influenced by child characteristics than raw totals (Gotham et al. in Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 39(5), 693–705 2009). However, these scores combine symptoms from the Social Affect (SA) and Restricted and Repetitive Behaviors (RRB) domains. Separate calibrations of each domain would provide a clearer picture of ASD dimensions. The current study separately calibrated raw totals from the ADOS SA and RRB domains. Standardized domain scores were less influenced by child characteristics than raw domain totals, thereby increasing their utility as indicators of Social-Communication and Repetitive Behavior severity. Calibrated domain scores should facilitate efforts to examine trajectories of ASD symptoms and links between neurobiological and behavioral dimensions.

At the start of this study, Vanessa Hus, Katherine Gotham, and Catherine Lord were at the University of Michigan, Department of Psychology and University of Michigan Autism & Communication Disorders Center in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
Vanessa Hus has remained at the University of Michigan, Department of Psychology. Katherine Gotham is now at the the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center, Nashville, Tennessee. Catherine Lord is now at the Center for Autism and the Developing Brain, Weill Cornell Medical College, White Plains, New York.