Iowa and South Dakota LEND Trainees Participate in ADOS-2 and ADOS-Toddler Workshop

March 27, 2013

Dire weather predictions and five inches of snow in mid-February proved to be no match for a group of hardy professionals and students from Iowa, South Dakota, and Minnesota.

Dr. Amy Esler, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics from the University of Minnesota, conducted an ADOS-2 and ADOS-Toddler workshop on February 21-23, 2013 for approximately 38 individuals including University of Iowa faculty/staff and graduate students, professionals from the community and LEND faculty/staff and trainees from Iowa and South Dakota.  The three-day workshop was held at the UI Center for Disabilities and Development (CDD), and was a collaborative effort between the Iowa LEND program and the CDD. 

The Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule, Second Edition (ADOS-2) improves an instrument already viewed as "the gold standard" for observational assessment of autism spectrum disorders (ASD).  The Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule, Second Edition, Toddler Module (ADOS-T) is a new module of the ADOS-2 for use with children between the ages of 12 and 30 months who have minimal spoken language.

Dr. Esler provided descriptions of the test instruments and demonstrated administration, scoring, and operationalizing diagnostic criteria for ASD.  Participants had numerous opportunities to practice scoring while watching Dr. Esler administer the ADOS-2 to two children with autism, and while watching video footage of several children who participated in testing.  During group discussions, attendees shared their observations of behavior and language and received feedback from Dr. Esler on interpretations and coding.