Autism Developmental Assessment

May 21, 2018

The Autism Developmental Assessment (ADA) is a behaviorally-based instrument consisting of easy-to-administer, task-based questions that evaluate the development of the participants.

The earlier the intervention, the higher the success rate of the intervention.

Diagnosis Through Measurement

The ADA can be used to measure the developmental stage of behavior of those with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and thereby diagnose them.


Our assessment can be taken repeatedly to measure whether interventions are effective over a reasonable period of time.

Controlled Results

It compares the developmental results of children with autism to those of children without developmental disorders.

Detailed Analysis

By tracking stage in the social and communicative sub-domains, we determine the progression of the disorder as well as identify the interventions that need to be introduced.

Can Be Taken At Home

The ADA is given to the parent or caregiver to administer to their children. Pediatricians and other practitioners can prescribe this assessment, like the Bayley scale.

The Autism Developmental Assessment

Assesses the child’s specific behaviors rather than generalized ones.
Takes between 30-50 mins to complete.
Gives instant results.
When taken multiple times tracks ASD symptoms and progress over longer periods of time.
Does not need to be administered by trained professionals.

How does it work?

The assessment is made up of a number of tasks. Each task in the assessment is scored for order of complexity based on the Model of Hierarchical Complexity (MHC). In this Model, each order of complexity is like a level of complexity. One task of an order of complexity is made up of two or more tasks of the next lowest order of complexity. So, in order to perform the higher order tasks that are hierarchically more complex, the participants need to have developed the skills needed to solve the lower order tasks. This assessment measures developmental progression through this staircase of complexity. ADA Tasks range from nearly the most basic order of complexity to one of the greatest. Once the participants complete all of the tasks in the assessment, they will receive a ‘stage’ score for their level of development judged by their responses to each task or item at each order. This stage score will then be compared to age and developmental milestones.

The ADA contains task series for both the social and communicative sub-domains and shows level of development in both of these crucial domains. This pinpoints which sub-domain a child needs intervention in and in what ways. If repeated, the assessment also indicates whether progress is occurring and how quickly.


The ADA is based on a previous instrument, the Autism Development Task Sequence (ADST). This instrument was employed in a research study involving fifty-seven children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. The people who worked directly with the autistic children filled out the instrument through observations and daily interactions with the child.

The ADST was found to be a very good predictor of how developmentally difficult the task items were for the children with autism in comparison to their developmentally ‘normal’ counterparts. It was also able to track the developmental progression of ASD in infants as young as three months.

This finding strongly suggests that if there are any signs with eye contact, listening and orienting to the mother who is speaking to the child, they should consider giving this kind of instrument for early diagnosis and effective stage-based intervention.

Commons, M. L., Adhikari, D., Giri, S., Weinberg, M., Baran, J. J., & Malik, E. (2017). Measuring developmental outcomes in autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Behavioral Development Bulletin, 22(1), 197-208.

The Autism Developmental Task Sequence is created in collaboration with Mundo Pato in their UnitusTI software.

UnitusTI is a cloud-based electronic data records management system and curriculum server that allows users the ability to:

    • Create & Customize assessments
    • Manage Data Acquisition, Graphs and Reporting
    • Automate administrative functions, program execution, data analysis and tracking
    • Communicate with clients
    • Secure client records
    • Recover from Disasters: backups and recovery program at the ready
    • Provide Global Access increases the reach of your practice to anywhere, day or night

Create your own curriculum or program in UnitusTI, or choose a pre-loaded one!