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Autism-Spectrum Quotient (AQ)

Autism-Spectrum Quotient (AQ)

What is AQ

The Autism-Spectrum Quotient (AQ) is self-assessment screening instrument for measuring the degree to which an adult with normal intelligence has the traits associated with the autistic spectrum. The AQ is a valuable instrument for rapidly quantifying where any given individual is situated on the continuum from autism to normality.

AQ Printable PDF

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AQ Scoring and Interpretation

PsyPack can automatically score the AQ assessment and prepare corresponding tables and graphs.


Asperger Syndrome, Autism Spectrum Disorders

What does AQ measure

The purpose of the evaluation is to:

  • identify the extent of autistic traits shown by an adult of normal intelligence.



Type of outcome tool


Assessment modes


Age and eligibility

16 years and above

Estimated time

About 15 minutes


Since the questionnaire relies on client self-report, all responses should be verified by the clinician, and a definitive diagnosis is made on clinical grounds taking into account how well the client understood the questionnaire, as well as other relevant information from the client.

The Autism-Spectrum Quotient (AQ) is not diagnostic, but may serve as a useful instrument in identifying the extent of autistic traits shown by an adult of normal intelligence. A score of 32+ appears to be a useful cut-off for distinguishing individuals who have clinically significant levels of autistic traits. Such a high score on the AQ however does not mean an individual has Asperger syndrome (AS) or high-functioning autism (HFA), since a diagnosis is only merited if the individual is suffering a clinical level of distress as a result of their autistic traits.

A limitation of this instrument is that it may not be appropriate for patients with low IQ, since the AQ assumes reading comprehension skills.

Attribution and References

Baron-Cohen S, Wheelwright S, Skinner R, Martin J, Clubley E. The autism-spectrum quotient (AQ): evidence from Asperger syndrome/high-functioning autism, males and females, scientists and mathematicians. J Autism Dev Disord. 2001 Feb;31(1):5-17. doi: 10.1023/a:1005653411471. Erratum in: J Autism Dev Disord 2001 Dec;31(6):603. PMID: 11439754.