Signposting for diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder using the Diagnostic Interview for Social and Communication Disorders (DISCO)

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Recent research has investigated the capability of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders (DSM-5) descriptions to identify individuals who should receive a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) using standardised diagnostic instruments. Building on previous research investigating behaviours essential for the diagnosis of DSM-5 ASD, the current study investigated the sensitivity and specificity of a set of 14 items derived from the Diagnostic Interview for Social and Communication Disorders (DISCO Signposting set) that have potential for signposting the diagnosis of autism according to both the new DSM-5 criteria for ASD and ICD-10 criteria for Childhood Autism. An algorithm threshold for the Signposting set was calculated in Sample 1 (n = 67), tested in an independent validation sample (Sample 2; n = 78), and applied across age and ability sub-groups in Sample 3 (n = 190). The algorithm had excellent predictive validity according to best estimate clinical diagnosis (Samples 1 and 2) and excellent agreement with established algorithms for both DSM-5 and ICD-10 (all samples). The signposting set has potential to inform our understanding of the profile of ASD in relation to other neurodevelopmental disorders and to form the basis of a Signposting Interview for use in clinical practice.



Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)45-52
Number of pages8
JournalResearch in autism spectrum disorders
Early online date6 Nov 2014
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2015

Bibliographic note

© 2014 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY license ( Funding: Wales Autism Research Centre led by Autism Cymru; Autistica; and ESRC PhD studentship award (ES/GO39399/1).


  • Autism Spectrum, Diagnosis, Disorder, DSM-5, ICD-10, Screening

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