Background and aims To describe SCQ scores based on parental socio-economic characteristics for primary school children 6–11 years, 7951 screened as part of an autism prevalence study in three urban regions of the Republic of Ireland (Galway, Waterford, Cork).
Methods A study booklet was completed by parents of eligible children included: demographics, developmental history, and a screening instrument, Social Communication Questionnaire – Lifetime Form (SCQ: Rutter et al ., 2003).
Results The majority of study booklets were completed by mothers 4,474 (86%). Overall the highest mean total SCQ scores were for mothers of children educated to primary or secondary level education 42%, 2195; 5.54 ± 4.98 working in skilled and semi skilled manual occupations 25%, 807; 5.44 ± 4.63 or described their ethic cultural background as Irish traveller other white background 528 11%; 5.97 ± 5.34, African other black background 301, 6%; 6.72 ± 50.2. There were no significant differences in mean SCQ scores where mothers expressed concerns at any stage of their child’s development with and without diagnosed developmental disorders in relation to mothers educated to primary or secondary level education, working in skilled and semi skilled manual occupations, or those who described their ethic cultural background as Irish traveller other white background.
Conclusions Mother’s first language and level of education may have been contributing factors relating to a proportion of observed high scores. However a number of the mothers of these children who expressed developmental concerns at any stage of the child’s development required further screening and/or referral for ADOS/ADI-R assessment.