Autism Diagnosis Observation Schedule

The Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule is a test used to diagnose and assess for Autism. Created in 1989, the test consists of certain structured and semi-structured tasks that involve social interaction between the test giver and the test taker. Throughout the course of administering the test, the examiner closely observes the subject’s behavior and watches for behavior relevant and indicative of a diagnosis of Autism. The test takes from thirty to sixty minutes to complete and subjects are given activities from one of four different modules depending on their individual developmental and language level. For example, module one is used for young children who use little to no speech, while module four is used with adults and adolescents who are verbally fluent. Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule items are scored on a three point scale from zero (no evidence of abnormality related to autism) to three (abnormalities so severe as to interfere with the observation).


Lord, C., Risi, S. et al. (2000). “The Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule–Generic: A Standard Measure of Social and Communication Deficits Associated with the Spectrum of Autism.” Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders. Vol. 30. No. 3. 205-223.