Caregivers of persons with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are prone to depression, and early identification of cognitive depressive symptoms is important to prevent the development of clinical depression. The Depressive Cognition Scale (DCS) can be used for early detection, but the scale's psychometrics has not been tested in caregivers of persons with ASD. In this study, 95 caregivers of persons with ASD completed the eight-item DCS and measures of caregiver burden and resourcefulness. A Cronbach's alpha of .90 indicated internal consistency. Construct validity was supported by significant correlations with caregiver burden (.59) and resourcefulness (− .57). Principal component factor analysis produced a single factor with 58% of the variance explained. The findings suggest the DCS is useful for early detection of depression in caregivers of persons with ASD.