Set of scientific tests related to autism spectrum disorders
Here's a collection of 8 scientific tests related to Autism Spectrum Disorders:
1. The Broad Autism Phenotype Questionnaire (BAPQ; Hurley et al., 2007).
The broad autism phenotype (BAP) is a set of personality and language characteristics that reflect the phenotypic expression of the genetic liability to autism, in non-autistic relatives of ASD individuals. These characteristics are milder but qualitatively similar to the defining features of autism. Sensitivity and specificity of the BAPQ for detecting the BAP were high (>70%). Parents of children with autism had significantly higher scores on all three subscales: aloof personality, rigid personality, and pragmatic language. Results of a later study in which researchers also had a group of ASD diagnosed individuals take the BAPQ indicated that the BAPQ is a valid and reliable test for measuring BAP traits.
The questionnaire gives your BAP and your scores on aloof personality, rigid personality and pragmatic language and gives you its conclusion whether or not you may be on the broader autistic phenotype or in fact autistic (ASD).
2. The Autism Spectrum Quotient (AQ) test (Baron-Cohen et al., 2001).
In their scientific study, 80% of the adults with AS or HFA scored between 32 and 50 (average score: 35), versus 2% of controls (NTs). Test-retest and interrater reliability of the AQ was good. The AQ is thus a valuable instrument for rapidly quantifying where any given individual is situated on the continuum from autism to normality.
If you score 32 - 50, you might have AS or HFA.
3. The Empathizing Quotient and Systemizing Quotient - Revised (EQ SQ-R) tests (Wheelwright et al., 2006).
Note: The score you get on this SQ-R test is different from the original Baron-Cohen (2003) SQ score! The SQ has been revised (SQ-R) in 2006.
The Empathizing–Systemizing (E-S) theory (Baron-Cohen et al., 2003) seeks to classify people on the basis of their skills in the two factors of empathizing and systemizing. Empathizing is the drive to identify mental states and respond to these with an appropriate emotion.
Systemizing is the drive to analyze systems or construct systems. The theory attempts to explain the social and communication symptoms in Asperger's Syndrome and High Functioning Autism as deficits and delays in empathizing combined with intact or superior systemizing.
This theory divides people into 5 groups:
Type E (Empathizer), whose empathizing is significantly better than their systemizing.
Type S (Systemizer), whose systemizing is significantly better than their empathizing.
Type B (Balanced), whose empathizing is as good as their systemizing.
Extreme Type E (Extreme Empathizer), whose empathizing is above average but whose systemizing is challenged.
Extreme Type S (Extreme Systemizer), whose systemizing is above average but whose empathizing is challenged.
The important factor to consider is not your absolute scores, but the difference between the two (EQ - SQ-R). This indicates whether you have more natural ability as an Empathizer or a Systemizer. If your scores are about the same for your EQ and SQ-R, then you have well balanced empathizing-systemizing capabilities.
If you are an Extreme Systemizer, you might have AS or HFA.
4. The EIQ (Emotional Intelligence Quotient) Test (Full Version; queendom.com).
This is the most comprehensive and most accurate online emotional intelligence test.
5. The Highly Sensitive Person (HSP) test (Aron, 1996).
In her national bestseller, 'The Highly Sensitive Person: How to Thrive When the World Overwhelms You', author Elaine Aron defines a distinct personality trait that affects as many as one out of every five people. According to Dr. Aron's definition, the Highly Sensitive Person (HSP) has a sensitive nervous system, is aware of subtleties in his/her surroundings, and is more easily overwhelmed when in a highly stimulating environment.
After numerous in-depth interviews, as well as surveys of over one thousand people, Dr. Aron's findings have been published in Counseling Today, Counseling and Human Development, and the prestigious Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. Scientific research is still being done on this personality trait, also called Sensory-Processing Sensitivity (SPS). Findings by Minshew & Hobson (2008), from a study in which HFA / AS people and controls (NTs) administered Aron's HSP questionnaire, support the common occurrence of sensory symptoms in HFA / AS based on first person report.
If you answered more than fourteen of the questions as true of yourself, you are probably highly sensitive. Note: no psychological test is so accurate that an individual should base his or her life on it. Psychologists try to develop good questions, then decide on the cut off based on the average response.
If fewer questions are true of you, but extremely true, that might also justify calling you highly sensitive.
If you're a Highly Sensitive Person, you might have AS or HFA.
6. Understanding facial expression test: The 'Reading the mind in the eyes' test (Baron-Cohen et al.).
Average score is between 22 and 30.
If you have ASD, you might have difficulties understanding facial expression.
And did you know you can actually train understanding facial expression? See: Training mind reading.
7. Face blindness / Prosopagnosia test: The Cambridge Face Memory test (faceblind.org).
Prosopagnosia, also called face blindness, is an impairment in the recognition of faces.
Everyone sometimes has trouble recognizing faces. Prosopagnosia is much more severe than these everyday problems that everyone experiences. Prosopagnosics often have difficulty recognizing people that they have encountered many times. In extreme cases, prosopagnosics have trouble recognizing even those people that they spend the most time with such as their spouses and their children.
The average score on this test is 80% correct, you're face blind if you score 65% correct or lower.
8. The Aspie Quiz (Ekblad, rdos.net).
The Aspie Quiz, an online questionnaire, covers Aspie traits versus NT (neurotypical, non-autistic) traits. For more information, see: www.rdos.net/eng
The test gives you an Aspie score, a NT score and the conclusion whether you might be an Aspie or not.
Note: These are not diagnostic tests, they can only give you an indication! Also: if the BAPQ concludes you may not have BAP or ASD, and/or you score low on AQ, and/or low on difference (EQ - SQ-R): no Extreme Systemizer, and/or you score high on the EIQ (Emotional Intelligence Quotient) Test, and/or the HSP test concludes you are probably not a Highly Sensitive Person, and/or you score high on the 'Reading the mind in the eyes' test and/or high on the Cambridge Face Memory test, you might still have AS or HFA!