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The Autism Quotient (AQ)

A standard screener for Autism includes 50 questions and measures how many Autistic traits a person has.
Pros: It has been widely used in many populations and studies—one of the few screeners specifically created for Autistic adults without co-occurring intellectual disabilities.
Cons: It may miss high-maskers, extroverted Autistic people, or imaginative Autistic people.

Camouflaging Autistic Traits Questionnaire (CAT-Q)

The CAT-Q measures the level of Autistic camouflaging (masking, social compensation, and assimilation).
Pros: It helps identify Autistic individuals who do not currently meet diagnostic criteria due to their ability to mask their autistic traits.
Cons: There are reasons other than Autism that a person may have a high masking score. CAT-Q may have a higher rate of false positives.

The Ritvo Autism Asperger’s Diagnostic Scale: (RAADS)

The RAADS is designed to identify adults who may have previously “escaped diagnosis” by focusing less of external behaviors and more on internal experiences.
Pros: Focuses more on internal experiences than outward behaviors. Has a high sensitivity, which is good for distinguishing Autism from other conditions (Bipolar, PTSD, Social Anxiety).
Cons: Long administration with a complex answer structure. Many dislike how questions are phrased

Adult Repetitive Behaviours Questionnaire-2 (RBQ-2A)

The RBQ-2A measures the degree of repetitive behavior and restricted interest (criteria B). I am a big fan of this screener as most focus on criteria A (social-communication differences).
Pros: Language is respectful and clearly worded. While most screeners focus on criteria A, this measurement captures Criteria B of Autism, which helps distinguish Autism from social anxiety, PTSD, and more.
Cons: No cons to note. One consideration is that ADHD may impact scores. Autistic-ADHDers may have lower scores here.

The Aspie Quiz

The Aspie Quiz measures Autistic and neurotypical traits in five domains: talent, perception, communication, relationship, and social.
Pros: Avoids pathologizing language! Respectful and clearly worded questions. Detailed and visual feedback that is very Autistic friendly, and easy to understand.
Cons: Has not been independently validated in a clinical setting and is not widely recognized within the medical establishment.

 Advocacy for neurodiversity acceptance may have begun with autism and how it is managed, but it has grown to include the many different neurodivergent types. The more we accept, affirm, and understand that it’s quite common for brains to work differently, the more easily we can go about accommodating people in ways that work best for them to learn, function, and thrive in society.

Dr. Megan Anna Neff (she/they), is an Autistic-ADHD Clinical Psychologist, author of Self-Care for Autistic People, and Founder of Neurodivergent Insights.