We have all heard the statistic that 1 in 66 Americans is diagnosed with autism- but did you ever think that you could be one of them?
New self-diagnostic tools published in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorderscould aid in the clinical diagnosis of autism. The Repetitive Behaviours Questionnaire–2 (RBQ-2) is designed to assess the frequency and severity of repetitive behaviors in adults. In a test run, researchers found that adults with autism scored far higher on the test than those who had low scores. Taking this test could allow for better diagnosis in adult populations.
Although the self-report is seen by some as a helpful tool, doctors are quick to warn the general population that the results cannot definitively tell an adult whether he or she is on the spectrum- only a clinical test by a doctor can do that. Some have critiqued the report, saying that almost all human beings have a tendency towards repetitive behaviors to some degree. Repetitive behaviors is also only one symptom of autism- the self-report does not check for other symptoms.
The self-questionnaire is currently being developed by researchers in the UK. While it is expected to be widely available soon, some of the early questions are already available. These include:
- Do you like to arrange items in rows or patterns?
- Do you repetitively fiddle with items?
- Do you get upset about minor changes to objects (e.g. flecks of dirt on your clothes, minor scratches on objects)?'
How strongly do you agree with the following statements?
- I would rather go to a library than a party
- I often notice small sounds when others do not
- I usually notice car number plates or similar strings of information