April 20, 2020

The AQ-10

Last updated on April 25, 2021

The AQ-10 Autism Spectrum Quotient (AQ-10) is a quick questionnaire that primary care practitioners can use to see if a person should be referred for an autism assessment.

 

Dr. Natalie’s rating: 5 stars for appropriate and respectful wording, 2 stars for clarity & lack of ambiguity, and 5 stars for testing accuracy.

 

Take the test here:


Who the test is designed for


Versions & translations


Taking the test

The AQ-10 consists of 10 statements, giving you 4 choices for each statement:

  1. Definitely agree
  2. Slightly agree
  3. Slightly disagree
  4. Definitely disagree

Note: it makes no difference to your score whether you choose slightly or definitely, so just treat the statements as a binary choice of ‘agree’ and ‘disagree’.


Scoring

  • Scoring range: 0–10
  • Threshold score: 6
    • 6+ you might be autistic
    • <6 you may not be autistic
  • 80% of people designated Asperger’s syndrome score 6 or higher

The AQ-10 is only available as a self-scoring test.


Validity

How reliable, accurate, valid, and up to date is the test?

An illustration of Natalie pointing to the title ‘Discussion’.

Discussion

Natalie:
  • As a clinician, the AQ-10 allows me a quick two-minute screen to see if I should investigate further for autism spectrum condition. Like many other autistics, I find it frustrating that 4 choices are offered when there are only two as I feel that it wastes my time debating between slightly and definitely.
  • I think the test also requires a certain amount of insight into oneself that alexithymia may prevent. The first time I took this test I scored less than 6, and it was only when Martin went through the test with me and pointed out things that were obvious to him, that I realized that I indeed scored higher.
  • The CAT-Q may be a good next test to take if you do not score above the threshold.
Kendall:
  • If it makes no difference in the scoring, why create indecision with unnecessary choices? Omitting an undecided or don’t know option is a welcome design.
  • Statements such as, When I’m reading a story I find it difficult to work out the characters’ intentions, are next to impossible for me to answer. Whether difficult or easy, is something I have no way to compare or contrast.
  • That said, the questionnaire is quick to take, easily understood, and the scoring uncomplicated.

Recommended next steps

After the AQ-10, if you haven’t taken them already, the tests below are a good next step if you suspect you might be autistic. If you scored 6 or higher, you may want to start by doing the full AQ.

Autism Spectrum Quotient

A simple screening test that is used as a basis
for pursuing a formal autism evaluation

CAT-Q

If you scored lower than 6 on the AQ-10,
I suggest taking the CAT-Q, as it identifies
autistics that may be overlooked on other tests

RAADS-R

Identifies adults who often “escape diagnosis”
due to a subclinical level presentation

Online autism tests can play an essential role in the process of self-discovery, and may inform your decision to pursue a formal diagnosis. For a formal assessment, please see a knowledgeable medical professional trained in assessing autism.


An illustration of a clipboard with a checklist or assessment.

If you are looking for an autism assessment,
Dr. Natalie Engelbrecht can offer help!
You can find more information here:

Online autism assessments
This article
was written by:
dr-engelbrecht-and-kendall-jones

Dr. Natalie Engelbrecht RP ND is a dually licensed registered psychotherapist and naturopathic doctor, and a Canadian leader in trauma and PTSD, and she happens to be autistic; she got diagnosed at 48.

And not only does she happens to be autistic, but her autism plays a significant role in who she is as a doctor and how she interacts with her patients and clients.

Kendall Jones is a musician and sound engineer from Louisiana, with an affinity for both music and language. He was diagnosed late in life, at 61.

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