The AQR-Tool for the Assessment of the Quality of Relationship in music therapy with children on the autistic spectrum was developed by music therapist Karin Schumacher and developmental psychologist Claudine Calvet. Developmental psychological knowledge, especially infant research, forms the theoretical basis.
The music therapeutic work with children on the autistic spectrum led to the question of the origins of the human ability to build interpersonal relationships. The examination of the “Model of Development”, as formulated by the infant researcher D. N. Stern (Stern 2000), initially led to interpreting the clinical picture of autism from the viewpoint of infant and attachment theorists. The scales of the AQR-Tool follow the logic of development as described by Stern and focus on how the relationship to oneself (body and voice), to objects such as music instruments, and to the music therapist develops in children with pervasive developmental disorders. Another scale describes the music therapist and his/her interventions. Therefore, an AQR-assessment can answer the question whether - from a developmental psychological point of view - the therapist’s intervention is appropriate to the patient’s state of development. The AQR-Scales can help to work out appropriate interventions and aims for therapy.