The screen for social interaction (SSI): A screening measure for autism spectrum disorders in preschoolers

Jaswinder K. Ghuman, Sarah L. Leone, Luc Lecavalier, Rebecca J. Landa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


We report on the preliminary validity and utility of the Ghuman-Folstein Screen for Social Interaction (SSI), a measure of social interaction that can serve to screen for autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) in clinical samples of young high-risk children. Caregivers of 350 children (176 younger participants, ages 24-42 months, mean age = 34.1 months; and 174 older participants, ages 43 to 61 months, mean age = 52.4 months) with ASDs, non-ASD developmental and/or psychiatric disorders, or without developmental concerns completed the SSI. A series of analyses resulted in shortened versions of the SSI: a 26-item SSI-Younger (SSI-Y) and a 21-item SSI-Older (SSI-O) version. The SSI-Y and SSI-O showed moderate convergence with ASD diagnostic measures and significantly differentiated ASD and non-ASD clinical groups. Sensitivity and specificity values for discriminating ASD and non-ASD clinical participants were 0.87 and 0.71, respectively for the SSI-Y and 0.81 and 0.70, respectively for the SSI-O. Scoring recommendations were made based on the ROC results.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2519-2529
Number of pages11
JournalResearch in Developmental Disabilities
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2011


  • Autism spectrum disorders
  • Early identification
  • Joint attention
  • Preschool
  • Screening
  • Social interaction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology


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