, Volume 33, Issue 3, pp 319-328

Autism Diagnostic Interview-Revised and the Childhood Autism Rating Scale: Convergence and Discrepancy in Diagnosing Autism

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The agreement between the Autism Diagnostic Interview–Revised (ADI-R) and the Childhood Autism Rating Scale (CARS) was investigated in the diagnostic assessment of 54 children aged 22–114 months referred for possible autism. The observed agreement between the two systems was 66.7% (Cohen's kappa = .40) when the ADI-R definition for autism was applied (i.e., scores reaching cutoff in three domains on the ADI-R), but increased considerably with less stringent criteria; that is, scores reaching cutoffs in two domains and in one domain on the ADI-R. As predicted, the CARS identified more cases of autism than the ADI-R. Children classified as autistic according to both instruments had significantly lower IQ/DQ and more severe autistic symptomatology than those classified with the CARS only.