Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 38, Issue 4, pp 731–738 | Cite as

The Autism Observation Scale for Infants: Scale Development and Reliability Data

  • Susan E. BrysonEmail author
  • Lonnie Zwaigenbaum
  • Catherine McDermott
  • Vicki Rombough
  • Jessica Brian
Original Paper


The Autism Observation Scale for Infants (AOSI) was developed to detect and monitor early signs of autism as they emerge in high-risk infants (all with an older sibling with an autistic spectrum disorder). Here we describe the scale and its development, and provide preliminary data on its reliability. Inter-rater reliability both for total scores and total number of endorsed items is good to excellent at 6, 12 and 18 months; reliability is more modest for individual items, particularly in 6-month-olds. Test-retest reliability of the AOSI at 12 months of age is within acceptable limits. Evidence that the AOSI provides reliable data is the first critical step towards evaluating its efficacy in distinguishing high-risk infants who develop ASD.


Autistic spectrum disorder Early detection Behaviour Assessment 



We are grateful to all of the families who participated in this research. We also thank Brad Frankland for statistical advice, and Ann Wainwright (AW) and Theresa McCormick (TM) for assisting with the reliability assessments. The work was supported by grants from the Hospital for Sick Children Foundation, the US National Alliance for Autism Research and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Susan E. Bryson
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Lonnie Zwaigenbaum
    • 3
  • Catherine McDermott
    • 4
  • Vicki Rombough
    • 5
  • Jessica Brian
    • 6
  1. 1.Departments of Pediatrics and PsychologyDalhousie University and IWK Health CentreHalifaxCanada
  2. 2.Autism Research Centre, IWK Health CentreHalifaxCanada
  3. 3.Department of PediatricsUniversity of AlbertaEdmontonCanada
  4. 4.York UniversityTorontoCanada
  5. 5.North York General HospitalTorontoCanada
  6. 6.The Hospital for Sick Children and Bloorview Kids RehabTorontoCanada

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