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Dissertation

Investigating the Use of the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule in the Diagnosis of Asperger's Disorder

26 May 2006

Abstract

The Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule -Generic (ADOS-G) is a semistructured, standardized, play-based assessment measure that is used to aid the diagnosis of Autistic Disorder and autism spectrum disorders (ASD). The aim of the present study was to investigate how individuals with Asperger's Disorder score the coded behaviors within the ADOS-G when compared to individuals with Autistic Disorder, Pervasive Developmental Disorder, Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS), and Mental Retardation. Significant differences were found to exist between individuals with Asperger's Disorder and individuals with Mental Retardation in the Communication domain. Significant differences were found to exist between individuals with Mental Retardation and PDD-NOS in the Social Interaction domain. No significant differences were found to exist between diagnostic groups in the Imagination domain or the Stereotyped Behaviors and Restricted Interests domain. Significant differences within individual items within each domain were also found to exist between all diagnostic groups. This dissertation is the first to focus on the clinical utility of the ADOS-G in the diagnosis of Asperger's Disorder. Findings from this study support the assumptions made by the authors of the ADOS-G regarding how individuals with Asperger's Disorder are likely to score. The implications of these findings are discussed in terms of future research and their clinical application.


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