The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly impacted the ability to complete diagnostic evaluations for autism.  Many evaluators have been asking if the ADOS-2 can be used remotely. Answers to this question from WPS are included here along with an invite to an upcoming webinar titled ASD Evaluation During COVID-19: When The ADOS-2 Cannot Be Scored presented by Kara Brooklier, Ph.D.

WPS position statement on ADOS-2

Can I administer the ADOS-2 remotely?

The ADOS-2 requires administration by a trained examiner who is in the same room as the examinee and in close contact, interacting with the same materials. As such, it is not possible to validly administer this assessment remotely. Administrations of the ADOS-2 should be delayed until it is possible to resume in-person contact. Specific to Module 4, although this module is less reliant on toys and materials than the other ADOS-2 modules, it still has required tasks that utilize materials, and the focus is still on the social interactions between examiner and examinee. Remote administration would require modifications to standard procedures, and such modifications are not recommended, as they are likely to change the social “press,” will limit the scope of observation, and may not produce valid results consistent with published research. Any administrations conducted in this manner should be for qualitative purposes only, and algorithms should not be used. 

Can I validly administer the ADOS-2 while practicing social distancing and/or wearing personal protective equipment?

Administration of the ADOS-2 involves close contact and the use of shared materials. The focus of the assessment is on the social interaction between examiner and examinee, and maintaining an unusual physical distance for a social interaction and/or wearing a face mask/plastic face shield may change the nature of that social interaction in a variety of ways, such as by interfering with establishing rapport and obscuring facial expressions and spoken language. Data supporting the validity of the ADOS-2 are all based on administrations in which examiners engage with examinees without physical barriers and with a variety of physical distance depending on the specific activities being administered. Because of the unknown, yet likely, impact on validity, our recommendation is that ADOS-2 administrations be delayed until close in-person contact, without physical barriers, can be resumed. If ADOS-2 administrations are conducted prior to that time, the results should be interpreted with caution and used for qualitative purposes only.


You are invited to a Zoom webinar.

When: Jun 10, 2020 12:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Topic: ASD Evaluation During COVID-19: When The ADOS-2 Cannot Be Scored

Given the strain that COVID-19 has placed on conducting ASD evaluations, the webinar on 6/10 is being modified in content and expanded in time (12pm-2pm) to allow discussion on ASD evaluation procedures. The webinar will include information on:

1) ASD evaluation via telehealth,
2) hybrid ASD evaluations (part telehealth, part in clinic), and
3) returning to clinic for ASD evaluations during COVID-19.

The slides will occur in the first hour and the second hour will be for discussion/ questions.

Please share this webinar registration with others who may be interested in attending. Thank you and we look forward to discussing this challenging topic with everyone.

Register in advance for this webinar

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

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