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Autism Diagnostic Interview-Revised (ADI-R)

Michael Rutter, Ann Le Couteur, and Catherine Lord

A structured interview for diagnosing autism and planning treatment

PCTA distributes but does not publish this product.

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Age range: Children and adults with a mental age above 2 years

Qualification level: C

Year: 2003

Administration time: 60 - 90 minutes

Administration type: Individual; Software or manual scoring

The Autism Diagnostic Interview-Revised (ADI-R) is a structured interview used for diagnosing autism, planning treatment, and distinguishing autism from other developmental disorders.

Used in research for decades, this comprehensive interview provides a thorough assessment of individuals suspected of having autism or other autism spectrum disorders. The ADI-R has proven highly useful for formal diagnosis as well as treatment and educational planning.

To administer the ADI-R, an experienced clinical interviewer questions a parent or caretaker who is familiar with the developmental history and current behaviour of the individual being evaluated. The interview can be used to assess both children and adults, as long as their mental age is above 2.0 years.

Evaluate 3 functional domains

Composed of 93 items, the ADI-R focuses on three functional domains:

  1. Language/Communication

  2. Reciprocal Social Interactions

  3. Restricted, Repetitive, and Stereotyped Behaviours and Interests

Following highly standardised procedures, the interviewer records and codes the informant’s responses. Interview questions cover eight content areas:

  1. The subject’s background, including family, education, previous diagnoses, and medications

  2. Overview of the subject’s behaviour

  3. Early development and developmental milestones

  4. Language acquisition and loss of language or other skills

  5. Current functioning in regard to language and communication

  6. Social development and play

  7. Interests and behaviours

  8. Clinically relevant behaviours, such as aggression, self-injury, and possible epileptic features

Use one convenient form to score any ADI-R algorithm

Typically, administration and scoring require from 1½ to 2½ hours.

Results can now be scored and interpreted using a single convenient form rather than the five forms previously required. The Comprehensive Algorithm Form (W-382E) allows you to calculate and interpret any one of five, age-specific ADI-R algorithms (two Diagnostic Algorithms based on developmental history and used for formal diagnosis, and three Current Behaviour Algorithms focusing on present functioning and used for treatment and educational planning). The algorithms themselves have not changed; the new form simply replaces the five forms previously needed to calculate all algorithms.

Support diagnosis or determine clinical needs

Because the ADI-R is an interview rather than a test, and because it focuses on behaviours that are rare in nonaffected individuals, it provides categorical results rather than scales or norms. Results can be used to support a diagnosis of autism or to determine the clinical needs of various groups in which a high rate of autism spectrum disorders might be expected (e.g., individuals with severe language impairments or certain medical conditions, children with congenital blindness, and youngsters suffering from institutional deprivation). The ADI-R has proven very effective in differentiating autism from other developmental disorders and in assessing syndrome boundaries, identifying new subgroups, and quantifying autistic symptomatology. Extensive use of the ADI-R in the international research community has provided strong evidence of the reliability and validity of its categorical results.

Master the ADI-R with DVD training

Interviewers can refer to the ADI-R DVD Training Package to learn accurate coding procedures. It is recommended that users study the training materials before administering the ADI-R. The total running time for the ADI-R DVDs is 2 hours and 46 minutes.

Score 3 major autism assessments with a single unlimited-use CD

The ADOS/ADI-R/SCQ unlimited-use scoring CD allows you to score all of the algorithm scoring functions of the ADI-R (use the standard paper-and-pencil administrations for the ADI-R (W-382A), and then enter the responses into the computer program for rapid scoring).