Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 33, Issue 3, pp 319-328

First online:

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

  • Evald SaemundsenAffiliated withState Diagnostic and Counseling Center Email author 
  • , Páll MagnússonAffiliated withDepartment of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, National University Hospital
  • , Jakob SmáriAffiliated withDepartment of Social Sciences, University of Iceland
  • , Solveig SigurdardóttirAffiliated withState Diagnostic and Counseling Center

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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.

Autism diagnosis Autism Diagnostic Interview–Revised Childhood Autism Rating Scale