Supports Intensity Scale®

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Supports Intensity Scale - Children's Version™ (SIS-C™)


The SIS-C is designed to measure the relative intensity of support needs of children with intellectual disability, ages 5-16. 

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What is the SIS-C?

The Supports Intensity Scale-Children’s Version™ (SIS-C™) is a standardized assessment and valid means to measure the relative intensity of support needs of children with intellectual and developmental disabilities, between ages 5 to 16.

For a child with intellectual disability, there may be a mismatch between what a child is able to do and the unique environmental demands placed on the child, which results in a need for types and patterns of support that most other children do not need.

The SIS-C addresses the need for measures specific to the support needed by children in typical, age-appropriate environments. It reflects the general measurement framework, rating system, and common support need domains as the Supports Intensity Scale- Adult Version™ (SIS-A™).

How is the tool organized?

The SIS-C has two sections- Part I: Exceptional Medical and Behavioral Needs and Part II: the Support Needs Scale.

Part I  identifies specific medical conditions and behavioral concerns that may require substantial levels of support, regardless of the child’s relative intensity of support needs in other life areas. The intensity of support need for each medical and behavioral item is measured using a 3-point Likert rating scale (0= no support needed; 1= some support needed; 2= extensive support needed).

Part II identifies seven sections and includes activities for Home Living; Community & Neighborhood; School Participation; School Learning; Health & Safety; Social Activities; and Advocacy.

All items in Part II are rated across three dimensions of support intensity: Frequency (how often is extraordinary support needed); Time (how much time by another person is needed to provide extraordinary support); and Type (what is the nature of the extraordinary supports that is provided).

What are Support Needs?

Support needs are the pattern and intensity of supports necessary for a person to participate in activities linked with normative human functioning.