Neuroscience Bulletin

, Volume 34, Issue 6, pp 972–980 | Cite as

Performance of the Autism Spectrum Rating Scale and Social Responsiveness Scale in Identifying Autism Spectrum Disorder Among Cases of Intellectual Disability

  • Chunpei Li
  • Hao Zhou
  • Tianqi Wang
  • Shasha Long
  • Xiaonan Du
  • Xiu Xu
  • Weili Yan
  • Yi WangEmail author
Original Article


The Autism Spectrum Rating Scale (ASRS) and the Social Responsiveness Scale (SRS) have been widely used for screening autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in the general population during epidemiological studies, but studies of individuals with intellectual disability (ID) are quite limited. Therefore, we recruited the parents/caregivers of 204 ASD cases, 71 ID cases aged 6–18 years from special education schools, and 402 typically developing (TD) children in the same age span from a community-based population to complete the ASRS and SRS. The results showed that the ID group scored significantly lower on total and subscale scores than the ASD group on both scales (P < 0.05) but higher than TD children (P < 0.05). Receiver operating characteristic analyses demonstrated a similar fair performance in discriminating ASD from ID with the ASRS (area under the curve (AUC) = 0.709, sensitivity = 77.0%, specificity = 52.1%, positive predictive value (PPV) = 82.2%) and the SRS (AUC = 0.742, sensitivity = 59.8%, specificity = 77.5%, PPV = 88.4%). The results showed that individuals with ID had clear autistic traits and discriminating ASD from ID cases was quite challenging, while assessment tools such as ASRS and SRS, help to some degree.


Autism spectrum disorder Intellectual disability Screening accuracy Autism Spectrum Rating Scale Social Responsiveness Scale 



This study was supported by the National Health and Family Planning Commission of China (201302002; Number NCT 02200679). We thank all participants and their parents, as well as teachers at the Dong Li Feng Mei Health School (Mr. Ning Rao) and Qi Zhi School (Miss Xiaoqing Zhu) of Shanghai, who helped us greatly. Moreover, we thank all the physicians who helped during the evaluations.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

All authors claim that there are no conflicts of interest.


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Copyright information

© Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences, CAS and Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Chunpei Li
    • 1
  • Hao Zhou
    • 1
    • 2
  • Tianqi Wang
    • 1
  • Shasha Long
    • 1
  • Xiaonan Du
    • 1
  • Xiu Xu
    • 3
  • Weili Yan
    • 4
  • Yi Wang
    • 1
    • 5
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of NeurologyChildren’s Hospital of Fudan UniversityShanghaiChina
  2. 2.Department of Pediatrics, Guizhou Provincial People’s HospitalMedical College of Guizhou UniversityGuiyangChina
  3. 3.Department of Child HealthChildren’s Hospital of Fudan UniversityShanghaiChina
  4. 4.Department of Clinical EpidemiologyChildren’s Hospital of Fudan UniversityShanghaiChina
  5. 5.State Key Laboratory of Medical NeurobiologyFudan UniversityShanghaiChina

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