Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS)

Children's Autism Assessment

How is the ADOS used around the world and here in Brisbane?

The ADOS stands for Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule.  It is a standardised diagnostic test for Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and used within school systems, doctors clinics and by allied health professionals. 

Our paediatrician uses history, examination, observation, review of questionnaires, collateral information from school/day-care/other allied health professionals, and ADOS to help identify children with ASD according to DSM-5 criteria.

The ADOS is helpful because it is systematic and standardised – thus replicable by other clinicians under controlled circumstances.  

Four different modules make up the ADOS:

  1. Module One – non-verbal scenarios are used for scoring
  2. Module Two – designed for kids who have minimal verbal communication skills and involves moving around the room and interacting with objects.
  3. Module Three – designed for kids who are verbally fluent and done at a desk or table.
  4. Module Four – designed for kids who are verbally fluent but beyond the age of playing with toys.  This involves a more conversational aspect.

Each of the modules consists of a set of standardised scenarios. 

ADOS Assessment

Dr Farana Khan takes 40-60mins to complete a session.  The behaviours of the test subject are given a score which are added together to give an overall score.  The threshold scores for ASD varies according to the age level and the module. 
The ADOS will only be done after an initial 75 minute paediatric appointment with Dr Farana Khan to assess the underlying concerns and determine if ADOS is an appropriate part of the investigations. 

A referral letter from the child’s GP is required to obtain a Medicare rebate.  

ados autism quote - kids playing with bubbles

"Children with Autism are colourful - they are often very beautiful and, like the rainbow, they stand out."

Adele Devine

What Is The ADOS Testing Process?

  1. Concern that a child has Autism 
  2. See the child’s GP and obtain a referral letter addressed to Dr Farana Khan
  3. Send in the GP referral letter – the doctor will either accept the referral or redirect the referral back to the GP (because we cannot provide the appropriate medical care).  This will take between 1-3 weeks.
  4. Fill out Medsana New Patient Form
    • Registration Form
    • Patient details
    • Parent details
    • Note: At this point in time, we are unable to see children out of home care.
  5. Fill out Paediatric Questionnaire appropriate for age
  6. Welcome Email will be sent with details of the appointment time, fees and cancellation policy.  You will only be offered an appointment and receive this email once all the above steps are done. 
  7. Initial General Paediatrician Consultation
    • 5 – 10 mins with the Registered Nurse for measurements
    • 75 minutes with the paediatrician 
  8. Complete questionnaires as requested by paediatrician
  9. Book and attend the ADOS appointment(s) with Dr Farana Khan.  This session may take 40-60 minutes.
  10. Book and attend the review appointment for feedback of results, formulation of diagnosis and plan of management. 


Please download an appropriate form to be completed.