Psychologist Simon Baron together with his colleagues at an Autism Research Centre in Cambridge have created an AQ, or Autism-Spectrum Quotient to measure the extent of autistic characteristics in adults.
The test or questionnaire, published in 2001 in UK, consists of 50 questions and its aim is to find out whether adults of normal intelligence have the tendency to demonstrate core ASD symptoms.
Wired popularized the test in December 2001, when published alongside “The Geek Syndrome” article. The test is usually used to self-diagnose autism spectrum disorders. The PhenX Toolkit utilizes age-specific AQ versions to screen adolescents and adults for ASD symptoms.
Each of the fifty statements of the test is formatted in forced choices by allowing the test-taker to choose “definitely agree,” “slightly agree,” “slightly disagree,” or “definitely disagree.” About half the test is worded to prompt an “agree” answer, and the other half to prompt a “disagree” response. Each question that is answered either “autistically” slightly or definitely, the subject scores one point.
The questions cover 5 different areas connected with autism: attention to detail, imagination, communication skills, social skills, and attention shifting/tolerance of change.
As a Diagnostic Tool
In the beginning trials of the questionnaire, the average score was 16.4 in the control group, with men scoring a bit higher than females. 80% of adults who were diagnosed with autism scored 32 or more, opposed to only 2% of the control group.
The authors citing a score of 32 or higher indicating “clinically significant levels of autistic traits,” and despite the test’s popularity for ASD self-diagnosis, caution that it’s not meant to be diagnostic. In addition, authors advise someone obtaining a high score and is experiencing distress ought to get expert advice from a medical professional and not to be so quick to assume you’re autistic.
A research paper further suggested the test can be utilized for screening in clinical practice. Such scores less than 25 may denote ruling out successfully a diagnosis of Asperger syndrome.
You might wish to see an autism test 4chan as a sample of what some autistic children may be taking.
Some autistic people are gifted in mathematics, despite having ASD, meaning autism spectrum disorder did not prevent them from achieving major accomplishments. It’s rather easy to imagine these people saying: “autism is my superpower” after fulfilling their dreams.