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Autism Spectrum Quotient (AQ) Questionnaire

The AQ is designed primarily for adults with autistic traits who are not severely intellectually impaired. The Creyos cognitive tasks may be used alongside the AQ to assess how individuals compare to peers of the same age in terms of cognitive functioning.

How to Take the AQ Questionnaire

Fifty questions make up the AQ, with ten questions within each of five domains: social skill, attention switching, attention to detail, communication, and imagination. Patients indicate their agreement with each item on a 4-point scale.

The Creyos Health version of the AQ automatically tallies the results and provides guidance on cutoff scores that maximize distinction between individuals diagnosed with high-functioning autism or Asperger Syndrome and individuals from the general population.


History of the AQ Questionnaire

The Autism Spectrum Quotient (AQ) questionnaire was created by Simon Baron-Cohen and colleagues in 2001 to address shortcomings in existing instruments for quantifying autistic traits. It is short, self-administered, and suitable for both research and clinical usage.

The AQ is particularly valuable as a screening tool when autism is suspected, to assist in the decision to administer a full diagnostic assessment or refer to a specialist. The scale is designed for young adults and adults ages 16 and up with normal intelligence, to measure traits associated with the autism spectrum, including Asperger syndrome and high-functioning autism.

The instrument is likely not appropriate for individuals with low IQ (e.g., below 70 on IQ tests or standard scores like the ones provided in Creyos cognitive reports), because it assumes reading comprehension skills.

AQ Report

The Autism Spectrum Quotient (AQ) in the real world

Healthcare practitioners are seeing more patients with autism than ever, thanks to increased awareness about the condition, especially among adults, females, and higher-functioning individuals (Russel et al., 2021). Scientific and clinical understanding of autism has evolved rapidly in recent years, and much is now known about how to reliably diagnose the condition, its causes, its effects, and the effectiveness of potential interventions. 

Yet challenges remain, especially because autism is a heterogeneous condition, with a variety of possible difficulties that may require intervention or treatment, each manifesting differently for each patient. Despite autism’s increased presence in many healthcare specialties, the ability to meet a patient’s specific needs is often compromised because individual characteristics affect outcomes (Howlin, 2021), yet are rarely measured. The Autism Spectrum Quotient (AQ) fills this data gap with a quick measure of traits associated with autism.

Speak to us about using the AQ in your practice or study