One questionnaire parents participating in IAN Research fill out about their children is the Social Communication Questionnaire (SCQ).
The SCQ was created by autism researchers Michael Rutter, M.D., FRS, Anthony Bailey, M.D., and Catherine Lord, Ph.D. It consists of just forty yes-or-no questions, which a parent can complete in around ten minutes. It is brief and easy to understand, yet provides valuable information on a child’s body movements, use of language or gestures, and style of interacting. There are two versions of the SCQ. The Lifetime version addresses a child’s entire developmental history, while the Current version looks at the child’s behavior over the last 3 months.
Usually, the SCQ is used as a screening instrument to help identify which children may have an autism spectrum disorder. It is not meant to provide a detailed diagnosis, but to indicate whether a child needs a more careful and in-depth evaluation.
The first time parents in IAN Research fill out questionnaires about their children, they will also fill in the Lifetime SCQ. This helps to verify that a child’s diagnosis is fairly accurate. It is a type of double-check. Do children with an ASD diagnosis score high on the SCQ? Do their non-diagnosed siblings score lower? The SCQ helps the IAN team to check the quality of our data overall.
In addition, parents will be asked to fill out the Current SCQ at certain intervals. This will permit us to see if children’s scores are getting better, getting worse, or staying the same, and to correlate this with other factors, like the treatments or interventions they are receiving.
Note: We regret we cannot provide the complete list of questions within the SCQ, as we have for the other IAN questionnaires. The SCQ is under copyright to Western Psychological Services of Los Angeles, California.