Assessment for ASD. Can anyone explain the differences between an ADOS & DISCO?

(3 Posts)
Levismum Mon 18-May-15 22:20:25

As the title says. Ds6 is going through assessment. He's very able at times. I'm concerned he won't be diagnosed. He's currently out of school.
I've been asked how he's being assessed, if I recall correctly it's an ADOS.
TIA

OP’s posts: |
frazzledrocks Wed 20-May-15 17:42:13

The ADOS is a 'snapshot' assessment based around structured tasks and semi-structured conversation. It has four different modules to choose from, according to the age and language development of the person being assessed.

Not all of the things that generate a 'score' are used to calculate the final 'score.' Each module has a different cut-off (threshold) score for autism. It's best if it's video taped and scored by two clinicians from different backgrounds.

The DISCO is a structured interview with carers about all aspects of a person's development and behaviour, looking for indicators of autism. The responses given are compared to a variety of algorithms (descriptions of autism) to see whether any of them 'fit' the responses given.

I diagnose autism in the NHS and I use both of these. They each have their strengths but I prefer the DISCO. Neither should be used alone - they are part of clinical judgement/reasoning and the DISCO still requires observation while the ADOS still requires developmental info.

Ineedmorepatience Wed 20-May-15 18:28:38

As a parent I have been involved with both, Dd3 was diagnosed at 9 using a disco + a SALT assessment, OT assessment and discussions with the MH team! It was intensive but very detailed and we were happy with the outcome, it was the right outcome for Dd3.

She was later involved in the ADOS because an aquaintance of ours was training to use the version for older children and asked if Dd3 would be a guinea pig for her, obviously there was no concern over does she doesnt she have Asd as she was already Dx'ed.

I was never sure whether Dd3's would show up on the ADOS but they certainly did and I could see the value of it alongside other assessments as frazzledrocks said.

Dd3 is the queen of masking and it took us 3.5 yrs to get the the point of a disco assessment!

Good Luck flowers

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