Autism Diagnostic Instruments & Checklists

See also:    Diagnostic Categories    Diagnostic Process

Internet Resources

The 12-point questionnaire was more than 90 per cent accurate in identifying children who had been independently diagnosed with autism and could help identify other children with "functional impairment," researchers said. The test could also be used to detect the condition in dysfunctional professors, train-spotters and others with eccentric habits who are popularly thought to share autistic traits.
Jeremy Laurance, Independent Online
This unapproved adult Asperger Syndrome Rating Scale is based on the Attwood Australian scale found in Tony Attwood (1998) Asperger Syndrome on pages 17-19. Language and concepts were taken from the Australian scale, and credit is due its authors for such items. This version upgrades items in the 1995 scale into adult age and task-specific questions.
Roger N. Meyer
The characteristics portrayed in these questions are some that a person on the autistic spectrum MAY have. No one has all of them. You can also have some of them without being autistic.
The aim of this study is to develop a tool with an easy and fast application and with useful screening method of autistic syndrome that may be helpful in planning integrated health and educational services.
M.C. Jane, R.M. Capdevila, Domsnech
The following questionnaire is designed to identify behaviours and abilities indicative of Asperger's Syndrome in children during their primary school years. This is the age at which the unusual pattern of behaviour and abilities is most conspicuous.
Tony Attwood
Modules 1 and 2 are appropriate for nonverbal children and children who have single words and beginning phrase speech, and Modules 3 and 4 are appropriate for verbally fluent children and adults.
AQ is a valuable instrument for quantifying where any given individual is situated on the continuum from autism to normality. The AQ is not diagnostic, but may serve as a useful instrument in identifying autistic traits in adults of normal intelligence.
Simon Baron-Cohen, Sally Wheelwright, R. Skinner, Martin, Clubley
Understanding that person and recognising that this is the way they function makes such a difference, but that might not need a diagnosis.
Judith Gould Interview
While this measure cannot take the place of a comprehensive evaluation of memory and learning, LMWT-SF performance can suggest when a more comprehensive evaluation is required, and may provide value as a cost-effective screening tool.
Eugene Rankin
...Factor 1, called ‘deficient imitation’, comprising six items describing a deficit of facial, gestural, vocal and affective imitation; and factor 2, called ‘atypical imitation’, including echolalia, echopraxia and variability of imitation.
Joëlle Malvy et al
Estimates for the prevalence of mental retardation in autistic children and adults range from 25 to 70 percent or more, and when autistics do exhibit phenomenal skills (like Rain Man), researchers don't consider that "true" intelligence. Health workers routinely assess autistics using a standard IQ test known as the Wechsler test. But this test requires that children understand oral commands, a trait that many autistic children have trouble with. Cognitive neuroscientist Laurent Mottron of the Hôpital Rivière-des-Prairies, Montreal and colleagues noticed that autistic children did poorly on the verbal comprehension part of the Wechsler but exceedingly well on a part that tests non-verbal intelligence and reasoning.
Mary Beckman, ScienceNOW Daily News
The article describes a pilot and follow-up study of the preliminary development of a new tool to screen for Asperger syndrome (AS) and related social and communication conditions (the Childhood Asperger Syndrome Test, CAST) in children aged 4-11 years, in a non-clinical setting. In the pilot study, parents of 13 children with AS and of 37 typically developing children completed the CAST. There were significant differences between the AS and typical sample means. The pilot was used to establish preliminary cut-off scores for the CAST. In the main study, parents of 1150 primary-school-age children were sent the CAST, and 174 took part in the full data analysis. Results suggest that compared with other tools currently available, the CAST may be useful for identifying children at risk for AS and related conditions, in a mainstream non-clinical sample. Further research is ongoing.
Fiona Scott, Simon Baron-Cohen, Patrick Bolton, Carol Brayne
The Childhood Asperger Syndrome Test (CAST) is a parental questionnaire to screen for autism spectrum conditions. In this validation study, the CAST was distributed to 1925 children aged 5-11 in mainstream Cambridgeshire schools. A sample of participants received a full diagnostic assessment, conducted blind to screen status. The sensitivity of the CAST, at a designated cut-point of 15, was 100 percent, the specificity was 97 percent and the positive predictive value was 50 percent, using the group's consensus diagnosis as the gold standard. The accuracy indices varied with the case definition used. The sensitivity of the accuracy statistics to case definition and to missing data was explored. The CAST is useful as a screening test for autism spectrum conditions in epidemiological research. There is not currently enough evidence to recommend the use of the CAST as a screening test within a public health screening programme in the general population.
. Williams, F. Scott, C. Allison, P. Bolton, S. Baron- Cohen, C. Brayne
The Childhood Asperger Syndrome Test (CAST) is a parental questionnaire to screen for autism spectrum conditions. In this validation study, the CAST was distributed to 1925 children aged 5-11 in mainstream Cambridgeshire schools. A sample of participants received a full diagnostic assessment, conducted blind to screen status. The sensitivity of the CAST, at a designated cut-point of 15, was 100 percent, the specificity was 97 percent and the positive predictive value was 50 percent, using the group’s consensus diagnosis as the gold standard. The accuracy indices varied with the case definition used. The sensitivity of the accuracy statistics to case definition and to missing data was explored. The CAST is useful as a screening test for autism spectrum conditions in epidemiological research. There is not currently enough evidence to recommend the use of the CAST as a screening test within a public health screening programme in the general population.
Jo Williams et al
The Cognitive Adaptive Test/Clinical Linguistic and Auditory Milestone Scale (CLAMS), a neurodevelopmental tool for the cognitive assessment of infants and toddlers, correlates well with the Bayley Scales of Infant Development.
David Kube, William Wilson, Mario Petersen, Frederick Palmer
The following test can be used by a Pediatrician or Family Doctor during the 18 month developmental check-up. The CHAT should not be used as a diagnostic instrument, but can alert the primary health professional to the need for an expert referral.
The CHecklist for Autism in Toddlers (CHAT) is a screening instrument which identifies children aged 18 months who are at risk for social-communication disorders.
Sally Wheelwright
A group of British researchers have developed a behavior checklist that may help identify toddlers at risk for autism so they can get treatment earlier.
Both the CGAS and GAPD seem to be sufficiently reliable tools in clinical practice. The CGAS seems to be more sensitive to inter-rater variation than GAPD.
J. Dyrborg, F. Warborg Larsen, S. Neilsen, J. Byman, B. Buhl Neilsen, F. Gautre-Delay
The syndrome of NVLD includes a number of specific symptoms: neuropsychological deficits, academic deficits, and social-emotional/adaptational deficits.
David Goldstein
The appropriate use and interpretation of cognitive tests presents important challenges to the toxicologist and to the risk assessor. For example, intelligence cannot be measured directly; rather intelligence is quantified indirectly by scoring responses (i.e., behaviors) to specific situations (problems). This workshop, "Cognitive Tests: Interpretation for Neurotoxicity?" provided an overview on the types of cognitive tests available and described approaches by which the validity of such tests can be assessed. Unlike many tools available to the toxicologist, cognitive tests have a particular advantage. Being noninvasive and species-neutral, the same test can be performed in different mammalian species. This enhances one's ability to assess the validity of test results. Criteria for test validity include comparable responses across species as well as similar disruption by the same neurotoxicant across species. Test batteries, such as the Operant Test Battery, have indicated remarkable similarity between monkeys and children with respect to performance of certain tasks involving, for example, short-term memory. Still, there is a need for caution in interpretation of such tests. In particular, cognitive tests, especially when performed in humans, are subject to confounding by a range of factors, including age, gender, and, in particular, education. Moreover, the ability of such tests to reflect intelligence must be considered. Certain aspects of intelligence, such as the ability to plan or carry out specific tasks, are not well reflected by many of the standard tests of cognition. Nonetheless, although still under development, cognitive tests do hold promise for reliably predicting neurotoxicity in humans.
William Slikker et al
Nurit Yirmiya et al
Journal of Autism and Childhood Schizophrenia 1971 Apr-Jun;1(2):175-89
Marian K. DeMyer et al.
Social/emotional, fine motor, gross motor, communication and vision benchmarks for various developmental stages.
The DISCO elicits information relevant to the whole autistic spectrum and to conditions, such as attention deficit disorder, hyperactivity, obsessive-compulsive disorder, Tourette's syndrome and catatonia, that overlap with autistic disorders.
Judith Gould
Brief descriptions of Diagnostic, Developmental, Communication, Infant/Toddler Assessments; Standardized Tests of Intelligence, Tests of Nonverbal Intelligence, Academic Screening, Behavior and Family Assessments
Janet Norman-Bain
About the Australian Scale; ASDS: Asperger Syndrome Diagnostic Scale; GADS: The Gilliam Asperger's Disorder Scale; and CHAT Test: Checklist for Autism in Toddlers Screening Tool.
The Nipissing District Developmental Screen uses a series of questionnaires examining 13 key developmental stages, exploring skills in vision, hearing, speech, language, communication, gross motor, fine motor, cognitive, social/emotional and self-help.
Lynn Haley
Full text of Autism Research Institute's Form E-2 Check List, sample text from the Childhood Autism Rating Scale (CARS)
Mitzi Waltz
Formal assessments are norm referenced and validated with use on 1,000 plus kids (if the tests are any good) and with different ethnic groups. In other words, they give the test to 1,000 kids in the same age group and find the absolute middle in grades.
There is good correlation between DSM-IV criteria for autism and subscales scores on the ABC in subjects with DS. This study demonstrates the feasibility of using the ABC to characterize the neurobehavioral phenotype of a cohort of children with trisomy 21 and ASD for ongoing research purposes.
George Capone et al
The Diagnostic Analysis of Nonverbal Accuracy 2 (DANVA 2) is a formal assessment instrument which use the four most commonly encountered emotions -- anger, fear, happiness, and sadness -- to measure the abilities to receive and send nonverbal information.
The CHecklist for Autism in Toddlers is a screening instrument which identifies children aged 18 months who are at risk for autism. This article explains how the CHAT was developed, how the CHAT should be used, and provides a brief introduction to autism.
Simon Baron-Cohen, Sally Wheelwright, Antony Cox, Baird, Tony Charman, John Swettenham, Drew, Doehring
ESCS is a videotaped structured observation measure that requires between 15 to 25 minutes to administer, to provide measures of individual differences in nonverbal communication skills that typically emerge in children between 8 and 30 months of age.
Peter Mundy, Anne Hogan
Welcome to The Geek Syndrome. This is a popular name for Asperger's Syndrome. The name Geek Syndrome was coined after more people in Silicon Valley were diagnosed with aspergers, and were also computer workers - and geeks. Please try our aspergers test, it for for interest only, and of course cannot be diagnostic. 9 out of 10 people with aspergers who take the quiz get a score of 25 or higher.
In psychiatry, adults with Asperger often receive alternative diagnoses such as schizophrenia, depression or almost any personality disorder. AS is especially similar to Nonverbal Learning Disability and Schizoid Personality.
Paul Cooijmans
Chinese investigators have come up with a new and better way to identify young children with autism. Their screening process combines the best elements from previous surveys designed by researchers in Britain and the United States.
Ivanhoe's Medical Breakthroughs
The combination of ADI-R and ADOS...both instruments seem to be of great value in the diagnostic process of pervasive developmental disorders in children and adolescents with mental retardation.
Annelies de Bildt et al
Compiled of characteristics the members of AS-Support had seen demonstrated by their children or in themselves.
Martha Kate Downey
I became very interested in autistic disorders because I had an autistic daughter and I've always been interested in the long-term chronic conditions that you find in psychiatry.
Lorna Wing Interview
The Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory-Second Edition was administered to 20 adults with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) who fell in the average to above average range of intelligence and 24 age-, intelligence-, and gender-matched college students. Large group differences, with the ASD group scoring higher, were found on the L validity scale, Clinical Scales 2 (D) and 0 (Si), Content scale Social Discomfort (SOD), Supplementary scale Repression (R), and Personality Psychopathology Five (PSY-5) scale INTR (Introversion). The proportion of ASD adults scoring in the clinical range on these scales was between 25% and 35%. High scores on these scales are consistent with the clinical picture of Asperger syndrome and high-functioning autism in adulthood. Future directions and implications for identifying adults in need of a specialized autism assessment are discussed.
Sally Ozonoff et al
We found that integrating the screening questions of the M-CHAT (from the United States) and observational section B of the original CHAT (from the United Kingdom) yielded high sensitivity and specificity in discriminating autism at 18 to 24 months of age for our Chinese cohort.
Virginia Wong et al
Our aim is to use data from the MST, as well as other experiments, to explain what the moral faculty is, how it evolved, and how it develops in our species, creating individuals with moral responsibilities and concerns about human welfare. T
Primate Cognitive Neuroscience Laboratory, Psychology Department, Harvard University
Free service to psychologists, teachers, parents and others devoted to positive, nonaversive responses to problem behavior.
V. Mark Durand, Daniel Crimmins
A new test aimed at helping doctors predict whether newborn children will develop autism or mental retardation confirms that such disorders are present at birth and are not the result of nurturing.
The Screen explores a child's skills in the following areas: vision, hearing, speech, language, communication, gross motor, fine motor, cognitive, social/emotional and self-help.
This paper identifies instruments and measures that may be appropriate for randomized clinical trials in participants with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs). The Clinical Global Impressions scale was recommended for all randomized clinical trials.
M.G. Aman, S. Novotny, C. Samango-Sprouse, M.A. Gernsbacher
Children with autism and children with a severe specific receptive language disorder show clear deficits in communicative language skills and social relationships. In this study the usefulness of a standardized parent interview (ADI-R) and a standardized observation schedule (ADOS-G) for the differential diagnosis of these two groups was assessed. Eleven children with early infantile autism and 16 children with a specific receptive language disorder participated. The parent interview was conducted with all parents and the observation schedule was administered to all children. Ten out of 11 children with autism were correctly classified as having autism on the ADI-R and the ADOS-G. One child with a receptive language disorder was falsely classified as having autism on the ADI-R, and none on the ADOS-G. Parent interview provides extensive information on the developmental course of the child. Direct observation gives an overview of actual relevant behavioural problems. The two instruments are complementary in the diagnosis of developmental disorders.
Michele Noterdaeme et al
The Parent Interview for Autism-Clinical Version (PIA-CV) was developed to measure autism symptom severity across a wide range of behavioral domains. Two studies were conducted to examine the psychometric properties of the PIA-CV for a sample of children under 3 years old. Results of study 1 revealed adequate internal consistency for nine of the 11 PIA-CV dimensions, as well as significant group differences on social-communication domains between 2- year-old children with autism and a developmentally matched sample. Study 2 examined the association between changes in PIA-CV scores and changes in autism symptomatology from age 2 to age 4. Results revealed that changes on PIA-CV dimensions assessing social and communication skills were associated with clinically significant behavioral and diagnostic improvements. These findings support the utility of the PIA-CV for obtaining ecologically valid information from parents and for measuring behavioral change in young children with autism.
Wendy L. Stone et al
This is an experimental screening tool that requires a traditionally established PDD diagnosis.
Deviance, as also explained in Model of Awareness, is seen as the difference between one's awareness level and one's intelligence level, when both are expressed on the same scale.
Paul Cooijmans
Details on many different tests.
The CHAT assesses pretend play, protodeclarative pointing, and gaze monitoring, by parental report and health practitioner observation through direct testing.
Gillian Baird et al
For each pair of eyes, choose which word best describes what the person in the picture is thinking or feeling. When you've answered all the questions, press the 'Get score' button at the bottom to see your results. Most people surprise themselves by how well they do in this test. Even if you think you don't have a clue, just choose the one that 'feels' right.
Simon Baron-Cohen
The Autism Spectrum Quotient (AQ) has been developed to measure the degree to which an adult with normal intelligence has autistic traits. In this paper it is evaluated for its potential as a screening questionnaire in clinical practice on one hundred consecutive referrals to a diagnostic clinic for adults suspected of having Asperger Syndrome or high functioning autism (AS/HFA). The results indicate that it has good discriminative validity and good screening properties at a threshold score of 26. The implications of these results are discussed.
M. Woodbury-Smith, J. Robinson, S. Baron-Cohen
Autism can be prospectively identified at 18 months of age. Used as a 2-stage procedure, the CHAT has an extremely low false-positive rate and the PPV for autism spectrum disorders is greater than 50%. (JAACAP)
Gillian Baird
In this cross-sectional cohort study, 212 Chinese children with mental ages of 18 to 24 months were tested with the CHAT-23, translated into Chinese. Of the 212 children, 125 were not autistic, and the remaining group had autistic disorder and PDD.
Laurie Barclay, Charles Vega
This brief instrument helps evaluate communication skills and social functioning in children who may have autism or autism spectrum disorders.
Contains a variety of rating scales, questionnaires, lists of characteristic behaviors.
Symptom structure underlying the ADI-R and ADOS-G was found to comprise three major symptom dimensions on which subjects’ behaviors fluctuated. The different scope of the instruments and the need for empirically derived symptom dimensions are discussed.
N.van Lang, S.Sytema, Bildt, D.Kraijer, C.Ketelaars, R.Minderaa
Psychologist Simon Baron-Cohen and his colleagues at Cambridge's Autism Research Centre have created the Autism-Spectrum Quotient, or AQ, as a measure of the extent of autistic traits in adults.
The development of the Asperger Syndrome (and high-functioning autism) Diagnostic Interview (ASDI) is described. Preliminary data from a clinical study suggest that inter-rater reliability and test-retest stability may be excellent, with kappas exceeding 0.90 in both instances. The validity appears to be relatively good. No attempt was made in the present study to validate the instrument as regards the distinction between Asperger syndrome and high-functioning autism.
Christopher Gillberg et al
Two MU researchers are changing the face of autism diagnosis. Judith Miles, a professor of child health genetics, and Nicole Takahashi, a senior research specialist, have developed a diagnostic tool that will classify autistic children into two subgroups, essential autism and complex autism. "This is really the first distinction you should make if you’re evaluating a child with autism," Miles said. "Knowing whether a child has complex or essential autism allows you to provide both a more accurate prognosis and recurrence risk."
Monica Watrous, Columbia Missourian
In order to assess particular disorders of psychological development and functioning in children with developmental disorders, we have developed a new tool, the Behaviour Function Inventory (BFI), based on 11 neurophysiological functions, disorders of which are considered to contribute to the core autistic syndrome. This article reports the reliability and validity study of this new scale. Factorial analysis computed on the 55 initial items identified six main dimensions which we characterized and labelled: interaction dysfunction, praxis dysfunction, auditory dysfunction, attention dysfunction, islet of ability and emotional dysfunction. Relationships between these six new variables and diagnostic subgroups, and chronological and developmental age, are discussed. The BFI offers precise information of the functional symptomatology of autism, showing clear evidence of some disordered areas of functioning. This new approach may provide valuable information in clinical research, especially for psychopathology and physiopathology studies.
Jean-Louis Adrien et al
After you master the information contained in this article, you will be able to convert test scores into easily understood numbers. You will be able to measure your child's educational progress.
Peter Wright, Pamela Darr Wright
Effective educational decision-making must be based on objective information and facts, not subjective emotional reactions and beliefs.
Peter Wright, Pamela Darr Wright
Under each heading an indent explains how a test result impacts a child in the classroom by a low score in these areas.
CCC-2 provides a useful screening measure for communicationimpairment and can be helpful in identifying children who should be referredfor more detailed assessment of possible autistic spectrum disorder.
Courtenay Frazier Norbury , Marysia Nash, Gillian Baird, Dorothy Bishop
Patricia Howlin, Janne Karpf
The purpose of this study was to examine adaptive behaviour profiles in children with autism and moderate to severe developmental delay. Previous research has found that children with autism present a characteristic pattern of adaptive behaviour, as measured by the Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales (VABS) (deficit in the domain of socialization, relative deficit in the domain of communication and relative strength in the domain of daily living). In this study VABS were administered (as part of a comprehensive evaluation of abilities) to a sample of 50 children with moderate to severe developmental delay (23 children with autism and 27 chronological and developmental age matched non-autistic children). Contrary to initial predictions, the sample presented fairly homogeneous adaptive behaviour profiles. Results are discussed with respect to the effectiveness of adaptive behaviour profiles in the detection of autism and the importance of employing limited chronological and developmental age ranges in the study of autism in infancy.
Gemma Fenton et al
Both (autism and AS) have very typical profiles - for instance, autistic children are below IQ level in both communication and social skills - so the Vineland's Interpersonal Relationships subdomain is very predictive for these conditions.
Sara Sparrow
The checklist provided in this digest includes attributes of a child's social behavior and preschool experience which teachers should examine every three or four months.
Diane McClellan, Lilian Katz

Opinions expressed by the authors of pages to which this site links do not necessarily reflect this site developer's opinions. In other words: Sublime or ridiculous? You decide!
Copyright © 2004-2006, Kathleen Seidel. All rights reserved.
This page was last updated on 16 March 2006, 9:33 am
Hosted by TextDrive