Reference Work Entry

Encyclopedia of Autism Spectrum Disorders

pp 1441-1444

Gilliam Autism Rating Scale (GARS)

  • Janine RobinsonAffiliated withCLASS, Cambridgeshire & Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust Email author 


GARS; GARS-2; Gilliam Autism Rating Scale, Second Edition


The Gilliam Autism Rating Scale is a standardized instrument for the assessment and diagnosis of autism and other severe behavioral conditions (GARS). It relies on parental or teacher reports regarding the child’s presentation and behavior and is a quick measure to administer. Furthermore, no significant training is necessary. Nonetheless, some studies suggest a tendency to “miss” children who would otherwise meet the diagnostic criteria for an autistic disorder (Lecavalier, 2005; South et al., 2002).

The scale was revised in 2006 and the name adapted to the GARS-2. The GARS-2 is based on the DSM-IV-TR (American Psychiatric Association, 2000) and Autism Society of America definitions of autism. The core items (42) on the three subscales have been retained in the revised version, although some minor changes in wording have been made.

The GARS-2 relies on parental rating of directly observed beha ...

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