What you need to know about the ADOS-2 autism test

ADOS-2 autismtest image | General Behavior Analysis

Evaluating autism diagnosis with ADOS-2  test

The Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule-Second Edition (ADOS-2) is a gold standard observational assessment for diagnosing Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). The ADOS-2 is known as the Autism Test for excellence. It contains standard activities designed to elicit behaviors that are relevant to the diagnosis of ASD. This test is a semi-structured, standardized assessment instrument designed to obtain information in the areas of communication, reciprocal social interaction, and restricted and repetitive behaviors.  

By observing and coding these behaviors, you can obtain information that informs diagnosis, intervention, treatment planning, and educational placement. This test can be applied to different developmental levels and to different chronological ages. It is a needed test for clinical and research purposes. The ADOS-2 assessment is very natural and play-based.

It’s not like going to a regular doctor’s office and getting poked and prodded – kids have fun at our centers. A variety of different toys and activities are used during the assessment that make it fun. Following the assessment, the clinician completes a scoring process, and results are summarized and sent to the doctor for use in diagnostic determination or anyone with a master’s degree in psychology, speech–language pathology or related field

The autism test as others tests is designed for individuals as young as 12-months of age all the way through adulthood. For adequate participation in the assessment, the autism test requires a minimum developmental level of 12-months and no significant sensory or motor impairments (e.g., blindness, deafness, confined to wheelchair). ADOS-2 test can accommodate people across the lifespan because it comprises several modules. Clinicians select the appropriate module for an individual based upon the person’s language ability (ranging from no speech to verbally fluent) and age.

Depending on patient preference or situation and the professional’s judgement, an autism test evaluation may be completed in one appointment. In other circumstances, the assessment may be completed within two appointments. Similarly, what to expect with the ADOS-2, the test takes between 30-60 minutes for a clinician to administer.

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How do i know if my child needs this test?

It is critical to recognize and diagnose Autism Spectrum Disorder as early as possible because ADOS-2 test is a side assessment to get better and very specific diagnosis to your child, early intervention will have the greatest impact on your child’s development. So trust your parental instincts. Researchers say that parents are good at picking up early signs of ASD. 

As a mother or father, you know your kid better than anyone else and you are in the best position to observe the early signs. The key is to monitor your child’s development and report any delays or concerns to your child’s pediatrician immediately. ASD involves a variety of developmental delays, so keep a close eye on your child if skipping social, emotional, and cognitive milestones.


The next step is to take action if you’re concerned. Every child develops at a different pace, and when it comes to development, there’s a wide range of what is considered typical. It is important to share your concerns with your child’s pediatrician immediately and ask that your child be screened for developmental delays or ASD with an ADOS-2 autism test. 


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