Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 44, Issue 10, pp 2400–2412 | Cite as

Standardizing ADOS Domain Scores: Separating Severity of Social Affect and Restricted and Repetitive Behaviors

  • Vanessa HusEmail author
  • Katherine Gotham
  • Catherine Lord
Original Paper


Standardized Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS) scores provide a measure of autism severity that is less influenced by child characteristics than raw totals (Gotham et al. in Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 39(5), 693–705 2009). However, these scores combine symptoms from the Social Affect (SA) and Restricted and Repetitive Behaviors (RRB) domains. Separate calibrations of each domain would provide a clearer picture of ASD dimensions. The current study separately calibrated raw totals from the ADOS SA and RRB domains. Standardized domain scores were less influenced by child characteristics than raw domain totals, thereby increasing their utility as indicators of Social-Communication and Repetitive Behavior severity. Calibrated domain scores should facilitate efforts to examine trajectories of ASD symptoms and links between neurobiological and behavioral dimensions.


Autism spectrum disorders Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule Severity Social Affect Restricted and Repetitive Behaviors 



This research was supported by a Dennis Weatherstone Predoctoral Fellowship to VH and National Institute of Mental Health grants T32-MH18921 to KG and R01MH081873 and RC1MH089721 to CL. We gratefully acknowledge Drs. Andrew Pickles, Christopher Gruber and Sheri Stegall for their consultation in preparation of this manuscript, as well as all of the families who participated in this research.

Conflict of interest

C. Lord receives royalties for the ADOS; profits from this study were donated to charity.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of MichiganAnn ArborUSA
  2. 2.Vanderbilt Kennedy CenterVanderbilt UniversityNashvilleUSA
  3. 3.Center for Autism and the Developing BrainWeill Cornell Medical CollegeWhite PlainsUSA

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