Gold-standard training for a gold-standard tool

The ACAR Clinic offers its first Introductory Autism Diagnostic Interview – Revised workshop to improve skills of diagnosing practitioners

This fall, the Azrieli Centre for Autism Research (ACAR) Clinic offered its first annual Autism Diagnostic Interview – Revised (ADI-R) workshop, a gold-standard tool used in diagnosing autism.

In addition to learning how to define, describe, and categorize signs of autism in a more standardized way, participants learn how to carry out a thorough developmental history by deepening their understanding of lived experiences described in real-life demonstrations.

Real-world training for new and experienced practitioners

The 6-session online workshop helps new and experienced diagnosing practitioners improve clinical skills when conducting interviews with parents or caregivers about symptoms of autism.

“I am a practitioner of many years who uses the ADI-R on a daily basis, but this workshop has definitely expanded my knowledge of coding,” says participant Agata Pieniazek, President of the Solis Radius Association in Poland.

“I liked that we got to watch real cases, and that they weren't ‘perfect’ interviewees,” adds Sarah Setchell, Clinical and School Psychologist at Hands, The Family Help Network in North Bay, Ontario. “The videos were very similar to many experiences I have had and I appreciated that.”

Participants also benefit from a program that is rooted in both innovative research and clinical practice.

“As an integrated clinical-research centre with a university-hospital affiliation and global research collaborations, ACAR is connected with a network of top research clinicians nationally and internationally,” says Julie Scorah, Director of the ACAR Clinic.

“We therefore incorporate recent advances in clinical care as well as the latest research findings into our trainings.”

Expert training, with a human approach

Mandy Steiman, certified trainer for diagnostic tools, understands firsthand how to use the ADI-R for clinical and research purposes.

With over 15 years of hands-on experience, Steiman has served as a clinical site leader for numerous multi-site and longitudinal research studies.

Mandy Steiman with patient at the ACAR Clinic
Image by Andreas Kurz, Spectrum Productions.

Steiman helps train other professionals at the ACAR Clinic in her role as a clinical psychologist, specializing in the assessment of autism and associated diagnoses. She also contributes to the development and implementation of integrated clinical-research protocols.

“I have been fortunate to supervise students and professionals from a wide range of disciplines in diagnostic assessment for both research and clinical purposes,” adds Steiman.

"When conducting workshops, my goal is to train professionals to provide high quality, evidence-based care while employing an empathic and collaborative approach with patients and their families."

“Steiman puts 100% into everything she does and is one of the most rigorous and well-prepared clinicians I have ever worked with – this is reflected in her workshops,” says Scorah.

“Not only are her standards for training very high, but Steiman is also a very personable, down-to-earth trainer who encourages and supports her trainees. She is constantly trying to learn and improve and participants get the sense that they are learning along 'with' her through a very collaborative process.”

Building a community of shared expertise

ACAR is taking concrete steps to improve access to care with its Clinical Capacity Building Program – the first of its kind in Quebec.

Its annual professional development opportunities help to enhance the skills of autism professionals and build a community of shared learning, support and expertise.

This program is approved for continuing medical education (CME) accreditation by the Office for Continuing Professional Development (CPD) of the McGill University Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. Accreditation ensures that activities in which participants take part meet McGill’s high educational standards.

The next ADI-R workshop series will take place in June 2022. Register here. 

Questions? acar-training.neuro [at] (Contact us )to inquire about our program, or join our mailing list.



About ACAR

The Azrieli Centre for Autism Research (ACAR) at The Neuro transforms research, training and care to improve the quality of life of autistic people and their families.

Established in 2017 thanks to the Azrieli Foundation, ACAR operates in the spirit of Open Science, inclusion and community collaboration. The state-of-the-art research centre is committed to advancing understanding of the mechanisms underlying autism and related conditions, developing new diagnostic tools and effective interventions through translational research and integrated care, and training the next generation of fundamental and clinical autism researchers.



The Neuro logo McGill logoMcGill University Health Centre logoKillam Laureates


The Neuro (Montreal Neurological Institute-Hospital) is a bilingual academic healthcare institution. We are a McGill research and teaching institute; delivering high-quality patient care, as part of the Neuroscience Mission of the McGill University Health Centre. We are proud to be a Killam Institution, supported by the Killam Trusts.



Facebook instagram x, formerly known as twitter linkedIn youtube

Back to top