Autism Program Environment Rating Scale (APERS)

The Autism Program Environment Rating Scale (APERS) is an environmental assessment instrument measuring the quality of programs for students with autistic spectrum disorders for the purposes of program improvement and/or research. There are two versions of APERS: for preschool/elementary grades (APERS-PE) and middle/high school grades (APERS-MH). Both versions focus on program ecology, interdisciplinary teaming, and family participation. 

The complete version of APERS must be completed by certified raters external to schools. The assessment includes a review of student records, interviews with school staff and parents, observations, and the completion of an electronic scoring tool. A shorter APERS self-assessment companion tool can be completed by teachers and used in combination with the full APERS evaluation by a certified rater.



Quality of educational programs for students with autism
1st Grade,
2nd Grade,
3rd Grade,
4th Grade,
5th Grade,
6th Grade,
7th Grade,
8th Grade,
9th Grade,
10th Grade,
11th Grade,
12th Grade

Administration Information

APERS Preschool/Elementary: 64 items; APERS Middle/High School: 66 items

Certification required


Access and Use

Open Access
Use in Research

Bejnö, H., Bölte, S., Linder, N., Långh, U., Odom, S. L., & Roll-Pettersson, L. (2022). From someone who may cause trouble to someone you can play with: Stakeholders' perspectives on preschool program quality for autistic children. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 52(9), 3890-3908. 

Kraemer, B. R., Odom, S. L., Tomaszewski, B., Hall, L. J., Dawalt, L., Hume, K. A., ... & Brum, C. (2020). Quality of high school programs for students with autism spectrum disorder. Autism, 24(3), 707-717. 

Sam, A. M., Odom, S. L., Tomaszewski, B., Perkins, Y., & Cox, A. W. (2021). Employing evidence-based practices for children with autism in elementary schools. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 51(7), 2308-2323.


Computer scoring
Psychometric References

Odom, S., Cox, A., Hume, K., Sideris, J., Hedges S., & Kucharczyk, S. (May 2017). Autism Program Environment Rating Scale (APERS): Psychometric Properties. International Meeting for Autism Research. San Francisco, CA 

Odom, S. L., Cox, A., Sideris, J., Hume, K. A., Hedges, S., Kucharczyk, S., et al. (2018). Assessing quality of program environments for children and youth with autism: Autism Program Environment Rating Scale. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 48(3), 913–924.

Psychometric Considerations

Psychometrics is the science of psychological assessment. A primary goal of EdInstruments is to provide information on crucial psychometric topics including Validity and Reliability – essential concepts of evaluation, which indicate how well an instrument measures a construct - as well as additional properties that are worthy of consideration when selecting an instrument of measurement.

 Learn more