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ADOS Testing

Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a developmental disorder that affects communication, social interactions, play, interests and behaviour. ASD is a lifelong condition and presentation varies with age and developmental level.  It is present in all cultures and economic groups.

The Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS) is a standardised instrument for diagnosing and assessing ASD. The ADOS enables the therapist to create a “social world” in which ASD-related behaviours can be observed. The following areas are assessed during the ADOS:

  • Communication (verbal and non-verbal)
  • Social interaction
  • Play and use of materials
  • Restricted and repetitive behaviours and interests

The ADOS can be used for individuals aged from 12 months to adulthood, provided their nonverbal ability is at least at the developmental level of a 12 month old. Two therapists are present during the assessment, one who is scoring and one who is engaging with the child. It takes 40-60 minutes to administer. Feedback is not available on the day of assessment as the test needs to be scored, which can take some time. The ADOS provides an opportunity for the therapist to construct a profile of the child’s strengths and difficulties that may be useful in intervention planning.

The ADOS in itself is not sufficient to give a diagnosis of ASD. It is used as just one source of information when completing such an assessment.

Further Psychological assessment is required to confirm a diagnosis of ASD. This includes but is not limited to; observation in a naturalistic environment (e.g. home or school), the taking of a full clinical history and an interview with parents/caregivers.

The Sunflower Clinic now provides ADOS testing with several staff now specifically trained in the test.

Please contact the clinic on 021 4321 729, or email  for more details.

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