Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 38, Issue 2, pp 213–223 | Cite as

A Scale to Assist the Diagnosis of Autism and Asperger’s Disorder in Adults (RAADS): A Pilot Study

  • Riva Ariella Ritvo
  • Edward R. Ritvo
  • Donald Guthrie
  • Arthur Yuwiler
  • Max Joseph Ritvo
  • Leo Weisbender
Original Paper


An empirically based 78 question self-rating scale based on DSM-IV-TR and ICD-10 criteria was developed to assist clinicians’ diagnosis of adults with autism and Asperger’s Disorder-the Ritvo Autism and Asperger’s Diagnostic Scale (RAADS). It was standardized on 17 autistic and 20 Asperger’s Disorder and 57 comparison subjects. Both autistic and Asperger’s groups scored significantly higher than comparison groups with no overlap; sensitivity, specificity, and content validity equaled one. Cronbach’s alpha coefficients of internal consistency of three subscales were satisfactory. Gender, age, and diagnostic categories were not significantly associated factors. The RAADS can be administered and scored in less than an hour and may be useful as a clinical scale to assist identification of autism and Asperger’s Disorder in adults. The RAADS does not distinguish between autism and Asperger’s Disorder.


Diagnosis Autism Asperger’s Disorder RAADS 



We wish to express our gratitude to David Allen, PhD; Anne Panofsky, PhD; Victoria Ritvo; Stephen Shore; Temple Grandin, PhD; Roger N. Meyer; Colleen Clegg and Alan Slifka for their invaluable contributions and support.


  1. American Psychiatric Association. (1994). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (4th ed.). Washington DC: Author.Google Scholar
  2. American Psychiatric Association. (2000). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (4th ed., text revision). Washington DC: Author.Google Scholar
  3. Attwood, T. (1998). Asperger’s syndrome: A guide for parents and professionals. London: Jessica Kingsley Publication.Google Scholar
  4. Baron-Cohen, S. (1995). Mindblindness: An essay on autism and theory of mind. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.Google Scholar
  5. Baron-Cohen, S., & Wheelwright, S. (2004). The empathy quotient: An investigation of adults with Asperger Syndrome or high functioning autism, and normal sex differences. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 34(2), 163–175.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Baron-Cohen, S., Wheelwright, S., Robinson, J., & Woodbury-Smith, M. (2005). The Adult Asperger’s Assessment (AAA): A diagnostic method. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 35(6), 807–819.Google Scholar
  7. Baron-Cohen, S., Wheelwright, S., Skinner, R., Martin, J., & Clubley, E. (2001). The Autism-Spectrum Quotient (AQ): Evidence from Asperger Syndrome/high-functioning autism, males and females, scientists and mathematicians. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 31(1), 5–17.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Campbell, J. M. (2005). Diagnostic assessment of Asperger’s Disorder: A review of five third- party rating scales. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorder, 35(1), 25–35.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Constantino, J., & Todd, R. (2005). Intergenerational transmission of subthreshold autistic traits in the general population. Biological Psychiatry, 57, 660–665.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Ehlers, S., Gillberg, C., & Wing, L. (1999). A screening questionnaire for Asperger Syndrome and other high functioning autism spectrum disorders in school age children. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 29(2), 129–141.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Fitzgerald, M., & Corvin, A. (2001). Diagnosis and differential diagnosis of Asperger Syndrome. Advances in Psychiatric Treatment, 7, 310–318.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Frith, U. (1991). Autism and Asperger Syndrome. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  13. Gillberg, C. (1992). The Emanuel Miller lecture: Autism and autistic-like conditions: Subclasses among disorders of empathy. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 33, 813–842.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Goldstein, S. (2002). Review of Asperger Syndrome diagnostic scale. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 32(6), 611–614.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Klin, A., Pauls, D., Schultz, R., & Volkmar, F. (2005). Three diagnostic approaches to Asperger’s Syndrome: Implications for research. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 35(2), 221–234.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Ritvo, E. R. (2006). Understanding the nature of autism and Asperger’s Disorder. London: Jessica Kingsley Publication.Google Scholar
  17. Volkmar, F., & Lord, C. (1998). Diagnosis and definition of autism and other pervasive developmental disorders. In F. Volkmar (Ed.), Autism and pervasive developmental disorders (pp. 1–31). Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  18. Williams, J., Scott, F., Scott, C., Allison, C., Bolton, P., Baron-Cohen, S., & Brayne, C. (2005). The CAST (Childhood Asperger Syndrome Test): Test accuracy. Autism, 9(1), 45–68.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Wing, L. (1981). Asperger’s Syndrome: A clinical account. Psychological Medicine, 11, 115–129.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. World Health Organization. (1992). International statistical classification of diseases and health related problems (the) ICD-10. Geneva: Author.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Riva Ariella Ritvo
    • 1
  • Edward R. Ritvo
    • 2
  • Donald Guthrie
    • 2
  • Arthur Yuwiler
    • 3
  • Max Joseph Ritvo
    • 4
  • Leo Weisbender
    • 5
  1. 1.Yale Child Study CenterYale University School of MedicineNew HavenUSA
  2. 2.Neuropsychiatric Institute, Los Angeles Medical SchoolUniversity of CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA
  3. 3.Los Angeles Medical SchoolUniversity of CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA
  4. 4.Harvard Westlake SchoolLos AngelesUSA
  5. 5.California Graduate InstituteLos AngelesUSA

Personalised recommendations