Monday 15 September 2003 — This is close to 20 years old. Be careful.
Newsweek has an Autism quotient test. Answer 50 questions to see where you land on the autism spectrum. I scored 23 (just a tad too high for the average category). My wife Sue scored 15 (average for women). My autistic son scored 43 (quite high).
Of course, this test is for typical people, to measure their slight differences in position on the scale. The irony is that some questions just won’t even apply to severe autistics. For example, “I find it easy to remember phone numbers” is obviously trying to get at someone’s attention to detail and facility with numbers. Answering “agree” to that should put you higher up the scale. But if a kid has never tried to memorize phone numbers, or has difficulty with it because of their limited language, how would they answer, and how would that affect their score?
I didn't like the wording of several of the questions. I can easily imagine a range of +/- 10 points for my results depending on how I interpret questions like "I notice patterns in things all the time" and "I tend to notice details that others do not". The first question uses an absolute modifier "all the time" and the second uses a relative modifier "tend".
P.S. If you give the same answer across the board for each of the 50 questions (e.g. "Slightly Disagree") you always get 25. The fact that I went to the trouble to try that means that I'm in the obsessive-compulsive spectrum or that I'm just a wise-ass programmer type. ;-)
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