MGH Home SchoolPsychiatry Home Page
Printable version  
Pervasive Developmental Disorder and Autism
Spectrum Detail
The scales described below can help identify a variety of symptoms affecting children and adolescents. Do not assume that a particular "score" on any rating scale or screening tool means a child has a particular disorder-these instruments are only one component of an evaluation. Diagnoses should be made only by a trained clinician after a thorough assessment. Symptoms suggestive of suicidal or harmful behaviors warrant immediate attention by a trained clinician.

Checklist for Autism in Toddlers (CHAT)
Parent Clinician

The CHAT is a screening tool developed for pediatricians to use at the 18-month checkup for children. Clinicians complete 5 items based on observation and ask parents to answer yes/no to an additional 9 items. Each section takes an average of 5 minutes to complete. If parents suspect a pervasive developmental disorder, they can print out this scale, complete the parent items, and take it to their primary care provider.

It is available free at: http://depts.washington.edu/dataproj/chat.html.
 
Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers (M-CHAT)
Parent

The M-CHAT is a screening tool to screen children 16-30 months of age. It can be completed by parents in 5-10 minutes. If parents suspect a pervasive developmental disorder, they can bring a completed M-CHAT to their primary care provider. Please note that the authors recommend that the M-CHAT Follow-Up Interview be used in conjunction with the M-CHAT in order to reduce the false positive rate of the M-CHAT alone.

The M-CHAT and M-CHAT Follow-Up Interview are available free at http://www2.gsu.edu/~psydlr.
 
Autism Screening Instrument for Educational Planning (ASIEP-3)
Clinician

The ASIEP-3 provides data on 5 unique components of behavior in individuals from 18 months of age through adulthood. This tool takes 90-120 minutes to administer. The ASIEP-3 examines behavior in five areas: (a) sensory, relating, body concept, language, and social self-help; (b) vocal behavior; (c) interaction; (d) communication; and (e) learning rate. When combined, these subtests provide a profile of abilities in spontaneous verbal behavior, social interaction, education level, and learning characteristics.

It can be purchased at:
proedinc.com
 
Pervasive Developmental Disorders Screening Test - II (PDDST-II)
Parent

The PDDST is designed as a screening test for children between the ages of 18 months-3 years, and includes 71 items. The test includes 3 levels, each of which takes about 5 minutes to complete.

It is available from pearsonassess.com

 
Autism Diagnostic Interview-Revised (ADI-R)
Clinician

A structured interview containing four main factors: the child's communication, social interaction, repetitive behaviors, and age-of-onset symptoms. Because of the time needed to administer the ADI-R by clinically trained personnel (1.5- 2.5 hours), this test may not be a practical assessment method in many clinical situations. It contains 93 items to be asked of the primary caregiver with children older than 2 years old.

It is available for purchase at:
Click here to go to the web page
 
Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS)
Clinician

A standardized instrument for diagnosis of autism, primarily in research settings, designed to detect social and communicative behavior associated with autism and related disorders. It is used with children older than age 2. General ratings are provided for 4 areas: reciprocal social interaction, communication/language, stereotyped/restricted behaviors, and mood and non-specific abnormal behaviors. Each module requires 35-40 minutes to administer. ADOS measures both non-verbal and pre-verbal communication components, and is conducted by intensively trained clinicians based on the subject's use of language. (It is not used with non-verbal adolescents or adults.)

Available for purchase at:
Click here to go to the web page
 
Childhood Autism Rating Scale (CARS)
Clinician

This 15-item behavior rating scale helps to identify children, older than age 2, with autism, and to distinguish them from developmentally handicapped children who do not have autism. Because it gives a symptom severity rating, the CARS may be useful for periodic monitoring and for assessing response to treatments or interventions. The CARS requires specialized clinical training to administer.

The CARS can be purchased online at:
Click here to go to the web page
 
Autism Behavior Checklist (ABC)
Parent Teacher

The ABC is part of a broader tool, the Autism Screening Instrument for Educational Planning (ASIEP), that profiles abilities in spontaneous verbal behavior, social interaction, education level, and learning characteristics. The ABC is designed to be completed independently by a parent or a teacher familiar with a child older than age 3. It measures target behaviors for intervention, and can be repeated to clarify the impact of treatment interventions. The Checklist has 57 questions divided into 5 categories of behavior: (a) sensory, (b) relating, (c) body and object use, (d) language, and (e) social and self-help.

It can be purchased (along with the ASIEP) at:
Click here to go to the web page
 
Gilliam Autism Rating Scale (GARS-2)
Parent Teacher Clinician

Designed for use by teachers, parents, and clinicians, the GARS-2 helps to identify and diagnose autism in individuals ages 3-22 and to estimate the severity of the problem. The 56 items are grouped into 4 subtests that examine stereotyped behaviors, communication, social interaction, and developmental disturbances for parents to contribute data about their child's development during the first 3 years of life. The entire scale can be completed in approximately 5-10 minutes.

It is available for purchase at:
Click here to go to the web page
 
Autism Research Institute's Form E-2 Checklist
Parent

This 109-item diagnostic checklist form rates behaviors frequently seen in autism, and also asks parents to rate the results of any treatments they have tried. It is available in several languages and is used with children ages 3-5. Parents who send the completed checklist to ARI will receive scaled test results, interpretive information, and information on autistic spectrum disorders (currently at no charge).

The checklist takes 15-20 minutes to complete and is available free at:
http://www.patientcenters.com/autism/news/diag_tools.html#ARI

 
Social Communication Questionnaire (SCQ)
Parent

Previously known as the Autism Screening Questionnaire (ASQ), this 40-item yes/no questionnaire helps evaluate communication skills and social functioning in children and adolescents who may have autism or autism spectrum disorders. The questionnaire can be used to evaluate anyone older than age 4, as long as mental age exceeds 2.0 years. Completed by a parent/primary caregiver in less than 10 minutes, the SCQ determines whether a child or adolescent should be referred for a complete diagnostic evaluation. Forms can be given directly to the parent, who can answer the questions without supervision.

It is available for purchase at:
Click here to go to the web page
 
Autism Treatment Evaluation Checklist (ATEC)
Parent Clinician

The Autism Research Institute (ARI) has developed this simple Internet scoring instrument (containing 77 items) that provides subscale scores and a summary score. Although designed to evaluate the effectiveness of treatments for autism, it may also prove useful for screening and diagnosis in children ages 5-12. Since the ATEC is a simple one-page form that can be copied freely and scored immediately (currently at no cost) at the following web site, it might be very useful as a diagnostic tool.

The checklist takes 10-15 minutes to complete and can be completed online or printed out at:
http://www.autismeval.com/ari-atec/ or for PDF only: https://www.autismeval.com/ari-atec/atec_form.pdf

 
PDD Assessment Scale (PDDAS)
Parent

An experimental 44-item screening scale useful for measuring symptoms of social interaction, speech and language, and play in children ages 6-12. Since the scale employs mild, moderate, severe, none, and resolved categories, it can be repeated to measure the impact of interventions.

It takes 5-10 minutes to complete and is available free at:
http://www.childbrain.com/pddq6.shtml
 
 
   
 
    ©2010 Massachusetts General Hospital, School Psychiatry Program and MADI Resource Center
    Copyright | Disclaimer | Privacy Policy | Department of Psychiatry  | Site Map