Validation of the Finnish Autism Spectrum Screening Questionnaire (ASSQ) for Clinical Settings and Total Population Screening
We assessed the validity and determined cut-off scores for the Finnish Autism Spectrum Screening Questionnaire (ASSQ). A population sample of 8-year-old children (n = 4,408) was rated via the ASSQ by parents and/or teachers, and a subgroup of 104 children was examined via structured interview, semi-structured observation, IQ measurement, school observation, and medical records. Autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) were diagnosed following DSM-IV-TR criteria. A search for hospital-registered ASDs was performed. For Finnish higher-functioning primary school-aged, 7- to 12-year-olds, the optimal cut-off score was 30 in clinical settings and 28 in total population screening using summed ASSQ scores of parents’ and teachers’ ratings. Determining appropriate cut-off scores in ASD screening in different languages and in different cultures is of utmost importance.
KeywordsAutism spectrum disorder Asperger’s syndrome Autism Autism Spectrum Screening Questionnaire ASSQ Validation
For this study, we received financial support from Finland’s Slot Machine Association, awarded to the Finnish Association for Autism and Asperger’s Syndrome, and from the Eija and Veikko Lesonen Foundation, Oulu, Finland, awarded to the Child Psychiatric Research Foundation, Finland. We also received research grants from the Rinnekoti Research Foundation, Espoo, Finland (Mattila), the Alma and K. A. Snellman Foundation, Oulu, Finland (Mattila, Jussila, Kuusikko-Gauffin), the Child Psychiatric Research Foundation, Finland (Mattila, Kuusikko-Gauffin), the Child Psychiatric Research Foundation, Oulu Area, Finland (Mattila), and the Oulu Medical Research Foundation, Oulu, Finland (Mattila). The research was also supported by the Emil Aaltonen Foundation, Finland (Ebeling), the Thule Institute, University of Oulu, Finland (Moilanen), and the Jusélius Foundation, Finland (Moilanen). The Graduate School of Circumpolar Wellbeing, Health and Adaptation is acknowledged for their support. This study will be adapted into a dissertation.
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