Evidence-based assessment of autism spectrum disorders in children and adolescents

  • Ozonoff S
  • Goodlin-Jones B
  • Solomon M
  • 4

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Abstract

This article reviews evidence-based criteria that can guide practitioners in the selec- tion, use, and interpretation of assessment tools for autism spectrum disorders (ASD). As Mash and Hunsley (2005) discuss in this special section, evidence-based assess- ment tools not only demonstrate adequate psychometric qualities, but also have rele- vance to the delivery of services to individuals with the disorder (see also Hayes, Nel- son, & Jarrett, 1987). Thus, we use what is known about the symptoms, etiologies, developmental course, and outcome of ASD to evaluate the utility of particular as- sessment strategies and instruments for diagnosis, treatment planning and monitor- ing, and evaluation of outcome. The article begins with a review of relevant research on ASD. Next we provide an overview of the assessment process and some important issues that must be considered. We then describe the components of a core (minimum) assessment battery, followed by additional domains that might be considered in a more comprehensive assessment. Domains covered include core autism symp- tomatology, intelligence, language, adaptive behavior, neuropsychological functions, comorbid psychiatric illnesses, and contextual factors (e.g., parent well-being, family functioning, quality of life). We end with a discussion of how well the extant literature meets criteria for evidence-based assessments

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Authors

  • Sally Ozonoff

  • Beth L Goodlin-Jones

  • Marjorie Solomon

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