The Need for a Developmentally Based Measure of Social Communication Skills
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The ability to demonstrate and quantify changes in social communication skills has been hindered by a lack of existing measures with appropriate standardization and psychometric properties. Such a measure would be helpful for research in many populations but would be particularly crucial for detecting incremental changes in youth with neurodevelopmental disorders who might gain skills but still lag substantially behind same-age peers. Although study designs and statistical methods are under development to try to account for slow and/or nonlinear, but potentially meaningful, improvements,1 there is a dearth of measures designed to capture growth and loss of social communication skills. This opinion piece outlines the argument for such a measure and the primary issues to consider in its development.
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