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Paediatric Assessments - 
Autistic Spectrum Disorders

Childhood Autism Rating Scale (CARS)
Eric Schopler, Robert L Reichler and Barbara Rochen Renner, 1988

Identify children with Autism

Age Range:
2 years and older

Individual - Untimed

This 15 item behaviour rating scale helps to identify children with autism and to distinguish them from developmentally handicapped children who are not autistic. In addition, it distinguishes mild-to-moderate to severe autism. Brief, convenient, and suitable for use with any child over 2 years of age, the Childhood Autism Rating Scale (CARS) makes it easier for clinicians and educators to classify children with autism. 

Developed over a 15 year period and with more than 1,500 cases, CARS includes items drawn from five prominent systems for diagnosing autism. Each item covers a particular characteristic, ability, or behavior. After observing the child and examining relevant information from parent reports and other records, the examiner rates the child on each item. Using a 7 point scale, he or she indicated the degree to which the childıs behavior deviates from that of a normal child of the same age. 

After the child has been rated on each of the 15 items, a total score is computed by summing the individual ratings. Children who score above a given point are categorised as having autism. In addition, scores falling in the autistic range can be divided into two categories: mild-to-moderate autism and severe autism. 

The product of long-term empirical research, CARS provides quantifiable ratings based on direct behavior observation. The ratings are an important element in the systematic diagnosis of autism. 

Available Products


Complete kit: Includes manual and 25 rating scales
Additional copies of materials:
Rating scale forms, pack of 25