The Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule—Toddler Module: A New Module of a Standardized Diagnostic Measure for Autism Spectrum Disorders
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The Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS; Lord et al., J Autism Dev Disord, 30(3):205–223, 2000) is widely accepted as a “gold standard” diagnostic instrument, but it is of restricted utility with very young children. The purpose of the current project was to modify the ADOS for use in children under 30 months of age. A modified ADOS, the ADOS Toddler Module (or Module T), was used in 360 evaluations. Participants included 182 children with best estimate diagnoses of ASD, non-spectrum developmental delay or typical development. A final set of protocol and algorithm items was selected based on their ability to discriminate the diagnostic groups. The traditional algorithm “cutoffs” approach yielded high sensitivity and specificity, and a new range of concern approach was proposed.
KeywordsAutism spectrum disorders Diagnosis ADOS Infants Toddlers
This work was supported by NRSA F31MH73210-02 from the National Institute of Mental Health to Rhiannon Luyster, as well as grants MH57167 and MH066469 from the National Institute of Mental Health and HD 35482-01 from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, and funding from the Simons Foundation to Catherine Lord. Support was also provided by a grant from the Department of Education to Amy Wetherby. We thank Andrea Cohan, Christina Corsello, Pamela Dixon Thomas, LeeAnne Green Snyder, Alexandra Hessenius, Marisela Huerta, Lindsay Jackson, Jennifer Kleinke, Fiona Miller, Rebecca Niehus and Dorothy Ramos for their assistance in data collection. We would also like to express our gratitude to the families and children in the Toddlers study, the Word Learning project, and the First Words project.
Conflicts of interest
The Toddler Module (Lord, Luyster, Gotham and Guthrie) is currently in press at Western Psychological Services. The authors of this paper received no royalties from the Toddler Module while it was under development, nor did Drs. Lord or Risi receive royalties for use of any other ADOS modules, due to an agreement with the University of Michigan such that all profits from the authors’ use of the measure are donated to charity. The authors of the Toddler Module will receive royalties upon its publication.
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