skip to main content

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) Assessment

Conducted at CFI by its most specialized neuropsychologists, a formal evaluation for autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is an in-depth look at a child’s development and any ASD symptoms. They may observe the child, conduct structured tests, ask the parents or caregivers questions or ask them to fill out questionnaires. 

Results highlight both the child’s strengths and challenges and inform whether they meet criteria for a developmental diagnosis. There are two evidence-based, standardized tests typically used as part of the assessment:

Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule, second edition (ADOS-2): Allows for an accurate assessment and diagnosis of ASD across age, developmental level and language skills. It relies on standardized behavior observation and coding, takes 40–60 minutes and is valid for ages 12 months through adulthood.

Autism Diagnostic Interview–Revised (ADI-R): Is used for diagnosing, planning treatment and distinguishing ASD from other developmental disorders. This assessment, which takes 90-150 minutes and is for children and adults with a mental age above 2 years, relies on standardized interview/response coding. It provides results in three domains: 

    • Language/communication
    • Reciprocal social interactions 
    • Repetitive behaviors/interests

Because ASD and mental health conditions frequently co-occur, evaluations also include screening for anxiety and depression. Clinicians look for any physical or mental health conditions that could cause anxiety, depression or sleep problems.  

Identifying mental health concerns is a crucial part of the evaluation process. Many individuals with ASD say these conditions have a bigger impact on their overall wellbeing than ASD’s core characteristics.  

In addition, evaluations include educational recommendations for:

    • School planning, including IEPs
    • Social skills training
    • Treatment recommendations for outpatient- and home-based services
    • Other community- or state-based services

Follow-ups to treatment include regular re-evaluation to monitor progress, assess response to interventions and progress on challenges with attention, mood, anxiety, behavior and/or learning disorders as the child gets older.

Learn more about CFI’s Pediatric Assessment Center (PAC)…


Stay in Touch