The Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule: Revised Algorithms for Improved Diagnostic Validity

  • Katherine GothamEmail author
  • Susan Risi
  • Andrew Pickles
  • Catherine Lord
Original Paper


Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS) Modules 1–3 item and domain total distributions were reviewed for 1,630 assessments of children aged 14 months to 16 years with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) or with heterogeneous non-spectrum disorders. Children were divided by language level and age to yield more homogeneous cells. Items were chosen that best differentiated between diagnoses and were arranged into domains on the basis of multi-factor item-response analysis. Reflecting recent research, the revised algorithm now consists of two new domains, Social Affect and Restricted, Repetitive Behaviors (RRB), combined to one score to which thresholds are applied, resulting in generally improved predictive value.


Autism Autism spectrum disorders PDD-NOS Diagnosis 



We gratefully acknowledge the help of Bennett Leventhal, Edwin Cook, Christina Corsello, Amy Esler, Somer Bishop, Danielle Guerin, Kathryn Larson, Jackie Preston Opatik, and Mary Yonkovit, as well as the families that participated in this research. This study was funded by the National Institute of Mental Health (Validity of Diagnostic Measures for Autism Spectrum Disorders: NIMH RO1 MH066469). Some authors (C.L., S.R.) receive royalties for the ADOS; profits related to this study were donated to charity.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Katherine Gotham
    • 1
    Email author
  • Susan Risi
    • 1
  • Andrew Pickles
    • 2
  • Catherine Lord
    • 1
  1. 1.University of Michigan Autism and Communication Disorders CenterAnn ArborUSA
  2. 2.Division of Epidemiology and Health Science University of Manchester ManchesterUnited Kingdom

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