The Childhood Autism Rating Scale (CARS) is a diagnostic tool designed to assess the severity of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in children. It was developed by Eric Schopler, Robert J. Reichler, and Barbara Rochen Renner in 1979 and has since been revised. The most recent version is the Childhood Autism Rating Scale, Second Edition (CARS-2).
The CARS-2 is typically used by trained professionals, such as clinicians, psychologists, or developmental pediatricians, to evaluate a child’s behavior in various domains associated with autism. These domains include communication, social interaction, emotional regulation, and sensory responsiveness. The assessment involves direct observation of the child, as well as information gathered from parents, caregivers, or teachers.
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The Childhood Autism Rating Scale (CARS) is a diagnostic tool designed to assess the severity of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in children.
Key features of the Childhood Autism Rating Scale include:
- Behavioral Observations: The clinician observes the child’s behavior in different situations, looking for signs and symptoms associated with autism.
- Interviews: Information is collected from parents, caregivers, or teachers about the child’s behavior in various settings.
- Scoring System: The CARS-2 uses a scoring system to rate the child’s behavior in 15 specific areas. Each item is scored on a 7-point scale, with higher scores indicating a higher level of impairment.
- Severity Levels: The CARS-2 provides severity levels ranging from non-autistic to mildly, moderately, or severely autistic.
- Diagnostic Aid: While the CARS-2 is a valuable tool for assessing autism spectrum disorder, it is important to note that it is not a standalone diagnostic tool. It is often used in conjunction with other assessments and clinical judgment to determine a diagnosis.
It’s essential to have a trained professional administer and interpret the Childhood Autism Rating Scale. The results can help guide intervention strategies and support the development of an individualized treatment plan for children with autism spectrum disorder.