The Autism-Spectrum Quotient (AQ) is a self-report measure of the traits associated with autism. It was designed to identify individuals who may be on the autism spectrum, but it is not a diagnostic tool and should not be used to diagnose autism. It is important to note that the AQ is not a definitive test and the results should be considered in conjunction with a comprehensive evaluation by a qualified healthcare professional.
If you scored 32 or more on the AQ, it could mean that you have traits that are commonly associated with autism. However, it is important to note that the AQ is just one tool that can be used to help identify individuals who may be on the autism spectrum. It is not a diagnostic test and should not be used as the sole basis for a diagnosis of autism. If you are concerned about your score on the AQ or if you think you may be on the autism spectrum, it is important to speak with a qualified healthcare professional for a comprehensive evaluation.
Note: it makes no difference to your score whether you choose slightly or definitely, so treat the statements as a binary choice agree and disagree.
How reliable, accurate, valid, and up to date is the test?
The AQ correctly scores autistics (both male and female) higher than neurotypicals.
- Test–retest reliability (consistency of scores when a person retakes the test) was found to be good.
- Inter–rater reliability (consistency of scores when two different clinicians provide the test to the same person) was found to be good.
Research shows that the AQ is a quick tool to identify where a person is situated on the continuum from autism to neurotypicality and not how autistic they are. Neurotypicals can score high
In 2017, the following items were proven unrepresentative measures of autistic traits, thus needing revision.
Researchers thought that autistics would agree with the following questions, but we don’t necessarily:
- 9. I am fascinated by dates.
- 21. I don’t particularly enjoy reading fiction.
And researchers thought that autistics would disagree with the following questions, but again, we don’t necessarily:
- 29. I am not very good at remembering phone numbers.
- 30. I don’t usually notice small changes in a situation, or a person’s appearance.
- 49. I am not very good at remembering people’s date of birth.
To read more on alexithymia and aspects of this construct that are commonly mistaken for autism, have a look at this website: Alexithymia & autism guide