The Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule, Toddler Module: Standardized Severity Scores

Amy N. Esler, Vanessa Hus Bal, Whitney Guthrie, Amy Wetherby, Susan Ellis Weismer, Catherine Lord

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

143 Scopus citations


Standardized calibrated severity scores (CSS) have been created for Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule, 2nd edition (ADOS-2) Modules 1–4 as a metric of the relative severity of autism-specific behaviors. Total and domain CSS were created for the Toddler Module to facilitate comparison to other modules. Analyses included 388 children with ASD age 12–30 months and were replicated on 435 repeated assessments from 127 children with ASD. Compared to raw scores, associations between total and domain CSS and participant characteristics were reduced in the original sample. Verbal IQ effects on Social Affect-CSS were not reduced in the replication sample. Toddler Module CSS increases comparability of ADOS-2 scores across modules and allows studies of symptom trajectories to extend to earlier ages.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2704-2720
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2015

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by a University of Minnesota Grant-in-Aid Award to A.E., Lohr Fellowship and Rackham Graduate School Fellowship to V.H.B., Dennis Weatherstone Predoctoral Fellowship to W.G.; in part by NICHD R01HD065272, NIDCD R01DC007462, and CDC U01DD000304 to A.W.; National Institutes of Health, NIDCD R01 DC007223 to S.E.W., and National Institute of Mental Health Grants R01MH081873 and RC1MH089721 to C.L. We gratefully acknowledge all of the families who participated in this research.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015, Springer Science+Business Media New York.


  • Autism diagnostic observation schedule
  • Autism spectrum disorder
  • Restricted and repetitive behavior
  • Severity
  • Social affect
  • Toddlers


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