Your autism pre-assessments
(ADI-R and/ or ADOS-2)
What is the ADI-R?
The ADI-R stands for Autism Diagnostic Interview- Revised (ADI-R). The ADI-R is a structured interview carried out by our neurodevelopmental specialists who are trained in administering this tool. The interview usually takes place with a parent or someone else who knew you well when you were 4-5 years of age. You do not need to be present for this part, although you will get a copy of the report.
There will be questions for your informant about your developmental milestones, family background, schooling, initial and current concerns, as well as a series of more specific questions regarding various behaviours associated with autism, which may or may not have been present during your early childhood.
This assessment can take up to 3 hours (with as many breaks as needed) and is usually carried out over the phone or on zoom. We appreciate that this is quite a lengthy assessment, please get in touch if you or your informant are concerned about this.
What if I do not have an informant for the ADI, or my informant is not a reliable source?
We understand that sometimes the ADI- R is not possible, for example, if parents/ relatives are no longer around or if you feel uncomfortable with the thought of involving someone else in your assessment.
As autism is a developmental condition, the ADI-R is a very useful tool as we can obtain an insight into what you were like as a child from the perspective of someone that knew you well. This forms only one part of your whole assessment process and will be considered alongside your own account of your experiences. We know that parents can find it difficult to recall details from many years ago and it is not a problem if some of the questions cannot be answered.
You might be able to find information about your early development elsewhere (for example, school reports or other assessment reports).
Can my sibling be an informant?
Yes, we usually recommend that your informant is at least 10 years older than you and can recall details about what you were like as a young child.
How can my informant prepare for the ADI-R?
We recommend that informants prepare in advance of their interview with the neurodevelopmental specialist. This is because it can be difficult to recall details from when you were a child. If possible, your informant should:
Watch videos or look over old photographs of you when you were a child (particularly the 4-5 age range)
Look over school reports, assessment reports or other correspondence from childhood (particularly the 4-5 age range)
Review any notes regarding developmental milestones and/ or speech development when you were a young child
What is the ADOS-2?
ADOS-2 stands for Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule. This is a gold standard diagnostic tool carried out by our neurodevelopmental specialists. It is a present state observation assessment and takes place in person at our Wimpole Street clinic. You will do some tasks together and answer some questions but there are no right or wrong answers and it is not a test.
What do I need to prepare for my ADOS-2?
You do not need to prepare for your ADOS-2, just bring yourself!
Can I bring someone along to my ADOS-2?
There is a waiting room for anyone that you would like to bring with you for your ADOS-2. However, during the assessment itself, we ask that you attend alone so that the clinician can get a better understanding of you as an individual, including the things you might find a little challenging. We know that this can be daunting for some people, but please be assured that there are opportunities for you to bring someone along with you to your psychiatric review/ feedback appointments with the consultant.
What happens next?
The ADOS and ADI interviews are your autism pre-assessment interviews. Next, you will meet one of our consultant psychiatrists to talk about your difficulties in a wider context for your psychiatric assessment. Following those appointments, you will receive some feedback.