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ASSQ (Autism Spectrum Screening Questionnaire)

The ASSQ (Autism Spectrum Screening Questionnaire) is a screening questionnaire for autism.

About the ASSQ

The ASSQ is a screening questionnaire for autism designed by Ehlers and Gillberg and further developed in collaboration with Lorna Wing in order to study prevalence of Asperger’s syndrome. It has since then become one of the most widely used autism screening tools in the world.

Contact us

For questions regarding the ASSQ questionnaire please contact

Eva Billstedt eva.billstedt@gnc.gu.se

How is the ASSQ scored?

The ASSQ consists of 27 items/statements. The questionnaire is scored using a likert scale, with the following alternatives for each item: “not true” (0 points), “somewhat true” (1 point) and “certainly true” (2 points). All points are tallied up to produce a total score (maximum of 54 points).

Psychometric properties

Studies have reported the test-retest reliability of teacher scoring at 0.90-0.94 (Ehlers and Gillberg 1993; Ehlers et al 1999) and parent scoring at 0.96; inter-rater reliability between parents and teachers was 0.79 (Ehlers and Gillberg, 1993). As for the questionnaire’s validity, a Norwegian study reported sensitivity of 0.91 and specificity of 0.86 when a cutoff score of 17 was used (Posserud et al 2009).

How the ASSQ is used

Recommended cutoff scores vary somewhat depending on the country, whether parents or teachers are used as informants and whether the main priority is high sensitivity, specificity or both. In Sweden, 15 points is considered the cutoff score for non-clinical populations and 19 for clinical populations.

An extended version (ASSQ-REV) has also been developed in order to identify girls with autism.

The most prominent publications on this subject are Ehlers and Gillberg 1993, Ehlers et al 1999, Posserud et al 2006, Hepburn et al 2008, Posserud et al 2009, Kopp and Gillberg 2010, Guo et al 2011 and Mattilla et al 2012.