Diagnostic Assessment Tools

The assessment tools used for identifying Autistic Spectrum Conditions are the ADOS 2 (used with the individual) and ADI-R (used with parents/carers).


The ADOS 2 assessment will be carried out by a Speech and Language Therapist or Psychologist. It looks at the social interaction between the assessor and the individual. It consists of a series of play based and/ or table top tasks (dependent on the child’s strengths) and takes between 30 and 60 minutes. It is very helpful if the ADOS 2 assessment is video recorded in order to enable the assessor to revisit the assessment prior to writing the report.


The Autism Diagnostic Interview-Revised (ADI-R) is a structured interview conducted by a Consultant Paediatrician or Psychologist with someone who has known the individual closely since early childhood. The questions in this test aim to assess the subject’s pattern of reciprocal social interaction and communication, as well as identifying examples of unusual behaviour that are seen in individuals with autism. In the case of a child being assessed, this will be the parent or carer. For adults being assessed this would preferably be a parent or carer, but it may be possible to carry this out with an older sibling or other relative. The ADI-R takes between one to two hours to complete.

School or nursery report

In order to gain a full picture of your child’s functioning and behaviour pattern outside of an assessment setting, it will be very helpful to have the school or nursery’s account of your child. For example, it would be extremely helpful to have information on how your child interacts with other children, as well as his/her pattern of social communication functioning on a day to day basis in a familiar environment. As part of the diagnostic assessment, your child’s school or nursery will be asked to complete a specific questionnaire, with your consent.

Speech and Language, Occupational and Cognitive Assessment is also available as a separate service depending on the child/ young person’s needs and this will be discussed with you if it is needed.

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