The "Autism Quotient" (AQ) quiz has been around for years now. It's a screening tool designed by Psychologist Simon Baron-Cohen and his colleagues at Cambridge's Autism Research Centre "as a measure of the extent of autistic traits in adults." Published in Wired Magazine's website, it's now making the rounds on FaceBook. According to the blurb on the Wired site:
In the first major trial using the test, the average score in the control group was 16.4. Eighty percent of those diagnosed with autism or a related disorder scored 32 or higher. The test is not a means for making a diagnosis, however, and many who score above 32 and even meet the diagnostic criteria for mild autism or Asperger's report no difficulty functioning in their everyday lives.
The Autism Quotient test is just one of many similar screening tests devised by the Cambridge research group. In fact, there are nearly two dozen online screenings available on the site, including AQ tests for adults, adolescents and children, empathy tests, "mindreading" tests, and more.
Of course, there is a disclaimer that these tests are not diagnostic, and they're only to be used for "genuine research." Still, for parents of children on the autism spectrum, adults wondering whether they might fall into an autism spectrum category, or anyone concerned about the symptoms of autism, these tests may be a useful first step in deciding whether or not to seek an evaluation.
Have you taken the AQ or any other of the tests at the Cambridge Autism Research Centre site?