Diagnosing autism spectrum disorders (ASD) is a complicated, time-consuming process which is particularly challenging in older individuals. One of the most widely used behavioral diagnostic tools is the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS). Previous work using machine learning techniques suggested that ASD detection in children can be achieved with substantially fewer items than the original ADOS. Here, we expand on this work with a specific focus on adolescents and adults as assessed with the ADOS Module 4. We used a machine learning algorithm (support vector machine) to examine whether ASD detection can be improved by identifying a subset of behavioral features from the ADOS Module 4 in a routine clinical sample of N = 673 high-functioning adolescents and adults with ASD (n = 385) and individuals with suspected ASD but other best-estimate or no psychiatric diagnoses (n = 288). We identified reduced subsets of 5 behavioral features for the whole sample as well as age subgroups (adolescents vs. adults) that showed good specificity and sensitivity and reached performance close to that of the existing ADOS algorithm and the full ADOS, with no significant differences in overall performance. These results may help to improve the complicated diagnostic process of ASD by encouraging future efforts to develop novel diagnostic instruments for ASD detection based on the identified constructs as well as aiding clinicians in the difficult question of differential diagnosis.