ADOS & CARS2-HF Scores?

Discussion in 'Special Ed 101' started by jennd23, Apr 28, 2011.

  1. jennd23

    jennd23 New Member

    Does any one have experience interpreting these scores?

    On the CARS, my son got a score in the "minimal symptoms of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)"

    The ADOS is completely confusing.

    He got 2 on the Language & Communication (which I disagree with but ok) and under it says (Autism = 3+, Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) = 2)

    Social Interaction he got 9 , underneath it says (Autism = 6+, Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) = 4)

    Total score of 11, with an (Autism Cut off = 10, Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) = 7) below.

    I can't figure out if that means he scored too high to qualify or if the observer is telling me that she doesn't think he qualifies even with scores that say otherwise? I'm sure this is just as confusing to you guys, sorry, I was just wondering if anyone else had experience. I'm meeting with the advocate again on Monday and the ARD is on Thursday so I'm trying to make sure I know exactly what I'm looking at before I go in.
  2. rlsnights

    rlsnights New Member

    What this should mean is that he meets criteria for at least Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) and really I would expect the examiner to say he meets criteria for Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD).

    The higher the score the more autistic characteristics were observed. The cut offs are the lowest score needed to meet the cut off. However, the instructions say to use the lowest score to determine Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) vs Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD). BUT when there are very mixed scores it is up to the examiner to make the final determination = judgement call.

    Language he scored between the Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) cut offs with a score of 2. Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) would have required a score of 3 or more.
    Social Interaction he scored Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) with a score greater than 6.
    His total score of 11 is 2 points higher than the 9 point cutoff for Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD).

    It's my impression that the ADOS is the more significant test of the two.

    Did you get a narrative to go with the results or have you asked the examiner about the results?

  3. jennd23

    jennd23 New Member

    Thanks for the response. That is what I was thinking but I wasn't sure. I did get a narrative, in which the examiner states that she doesn't think he has an Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). We already have an evaluation from a neuropsychologist (with the Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD)-not otherwise specified diagnosis) but these results are from the school districts Autism evaluation. I absolutely agree with the neruopsych's assessment but just wanted to be able to say "so even though the neuropsychologist evaluation and the scores from your tests indicate otherwise, you don't think he has an Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)?"
  4. rlsnights

    rlsnights New Member

    Here is a very interesting blog about autism that includes a review of CARS2.

    In all cases, these assessments are only part of the clinical picture that should be the basis for diagnosis.

    I think you may want to keep in mind a couple of things:

    1. Features similar/the same as those found in kids on the spectrum can be the result of other issues than autism. A good example is speech/language processing problems. You can have language processing problems that are very similar to those of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) kids without having Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). This is true for my son.
    2. There are other disorders such as Fragile X syndrome that may also have features very similar to Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD).

    The bottom line in an IEP is identifying what the needs of the child are and then how those needs will be met. If his needs would be best met in a program that "is for Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) kids" then, regardless of diagnosis, the IEP team can consider and place him in that program if they agree to do so and include information in the IEP document supporting their decision.

    Placements can also be done on a trial basis. If you can't get agreement on diagnosis, then aim for identifying his needs and see if his needs will best be met by the autism program. If you are still encountering resistance you can ask for a trial placement and review by the IEP team in 30 or 60 days.