Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 44, Issue 3, pp 609–614 | Cite as

The Autism Mental Status Exam: Sensitivity and Specificity Using DSM-5 Criteria for Autism Spectrum Disorder in Verbally Fluent Adults

  • David GrodbergEmail author
  • Paige M. Weinger
  • Danielle Halpern
  • Michael Parides
  • Alexander Kolevzon
  • Joseph D. Buxbaum
Original Paper


The phenotypic heterogeneity of adults suspected of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) requires a standardized diagnostic approach that is feasible in all clinical settings. The autism mental status exam (AMSE) is an eight-item observational assessment that structures the observation and documentation of social, communicative and behavioral signs and symptoms of ASD. Previous findings indicate high classification accuracy when compared to the autism diagnostic observation schedule in a non-stratified population of high-risk patients suspected of having ASD. This protocol investigates the sensitivity and specificity of AMSE scores using DSM-5 criteria for ASD in a sample of high-risk verbally fluent adults. Findings indicate an optimized sensitivity of 0.91 and a specificity of 0.93 for this group. Because of its high clinical utility, the AMSE holds promise as a diagnostic assessment tool that can support one’s clinical diagnosis of ASD in high-risk adults.


Autism mental status exam Mental status exam Autism spectrum disorder DSM-5 ADOS Autism diagnostic assessment 



We would like to thank all of our participants and their families. We would also like to acknowledge the psychologists and research coordinators who assisted with data collection. This study was supported by the Beatrice and Samuel A. Seaver Foundation and by grant KL2 TR000069.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • David Grodberg
    • 1
    Email author
  • Paige M. Weinger
    • 2
  • Danielle Halpern
    • 1
  • Michael Parides
    • 3
  • Alexander Kolevzon
    • 1
  • Joseph D. Buxbaum
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Psychiatry, Seaver Autism Center for Research and TreatmentIcahn School of Medicine at Mount SinaiNew YorkUSA
  2. 2.Pediatrics Department, Mailman Center for Child DevelopmentUniversity of Miami Miller School of MedicineMiamiUSA
  3. 3.Department of Health Evidence and Policy, Mount Sinai Center for BiostatisticsIcahn School of Medicine at Mount SinaiNew YorkUSA
  4. 4.Departments of Psychiatry, Genetics and Genomic Sciences, and Neuroscience, Seaver Autism Center for Research and TreatmentIcahn School of Medicine at Mount SinaiNew YorkUSA

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