by Eric Schopler, PhD, Mary E. Van Bourgondien, PhD, Glenna Janette Wellman, PhD, and Steven R. Love, PhD
Purpose: Identify and diagnose autism spectrum disorders
Age: Virtually all ages
Qualification Level: B
Since its original publication, the CARS has become one of the most widely used and empirically validated autism assessments for discriminating between children with autism and those with severe cognitive deficits, and in distinguishing mild-to-moderate autism from severe autism. With a new form for higher-functioning individuals, a structured way to gather caregiver information, and guidelines linking scores to intervention, the CARS2 surpasses its predecessor as one of the best autism assessments available.
While the CARS2 retains the simplicity, brevity, and clarity of the original CARS, it adds new forms and features that help you integrate diagnostic information, determine functional capabilities, provide feedback to parents, and design targeted intervention. It assesses virtually all ages and functional levels, and it provides concise, objective, and quantifiable ratings based on direct behavioural observation. Ratings are reliable across time, settings, sources of information, and raters.
The CARS 2 includes three forms--a Standard Version (CARS2-ST) Rating Booklet that is equivalent to the original CARS and is used with individuals younger than 6 years of age and those with communication difficulties or below-average estimated IQs; a High Functioning Individuals (CARS 2-HF) Rating Booklet that is an alternative for assessing verbally fluent individuals who are 6 years of age and older with IQ scores above 80; and a Questionnaire for Parents or Caregivers (CARS 2-QPC), an unscored scale that gathers information for use in making CARS2-ST and CARS2-HF ratings