Q&A with ADI-R trainer and Consultant Clinical Psychologist, Patricia Rios

With our next ADI-R Administration and Coding course coming up in April, we took the opportunity to sit down with the course trainer, Patricia Rios, to hear more about her years of experience working with those with Autism Spectrum Disorders, and find out what delegates can expect from the upcoming course. You can read the interview in full here below:

Tell us a little about your day-to-day work as a Consultant Clinical Psychologist.

Working within a multidisciplinary team is hugely important to me. Having access to colleagues from different disciplines allows us all to think about a child’s / young person / adult’s presentation from different perspectives. Similarly, understanding and assessing our patients’ strengths and difficulties in several areas of functioning allows us to make an informed decision with regards to diagnosis.

As a consultant clinical psychologist I must ensure that every day clinical practice is informed by the latest research findings. Evidence-based practice within a MDT is the responsible and most effective way to help our patients in the process of ameliorating their difficulties.

Have you always had an interest in Autism Spectrum Disorders?

Yes, I have always been curious about ASD and its effects on the person presenting with it as well as their family. When I joined Professor Rutter’s research team at the Institute of Psychiatry in 1984 I felt so proud. I joined a team of scientists to investigate the genetics of autism. We carried out a collaborative research project based in the UK, USA and Canada and systematically began to investigate this complex behavioural presentation called autism.

I see that you were involved in the development of the ADI. How did that come about and how was that experience?

The family genetic study of autism involved several aims, one of them being to design and develop a systematic way of gathering developmental information about a child presenting with developmental delay and deviance. We set out to define the questions that needed to be asked of the parents for us – scientists and clinicians – to be able to decide if the behaviours described were congruent with a diagnosis of autism. This involved doing some very specific and innovative statistical analyses that identified those questions that were most helpful at targeting and identifying these behaviours.

What sort of information does the ADI-R provide? 

The ADI is a standardised clinician based instrument/ interview that assist with helping the parent in recalling the child’s early history.  It sets the scene for the parents and then systematically goes about asking questions that allow the clinician/scientist to make a judgment as to the quality of the behaviour described by the parent.

What can people expect from the upcoming ADI-R training courses you are running? What can delegates expect to take away from the course?

Delegates will be introduced to a standardised and systematic way of asking questions to elicit behaviours in children. They will learn about the importance of adhering to the probes in the ADI-R booklet without making assumptions, rather asking the parent to provide examples of behaviours that will in turn allow the delegate to rate. The beauty of the ADI-R is that it provides a space for the parent to recollect information about her child; with careful and patient guidance parents do remember their child’s development. Asking for examples is crucial as they provide the evidence the clinician requires to distinguish a normally developing trajectory in a child’s development or a deviance from it.

Thanks Patricia!

You can find more information and book onto the upcoming ADI-R course here.

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